There is a sad thing happening in way too many organizations: The leader, when it comes to setting expectations (e.g. when planning for the next performance period), formulates their message in the style of “You need to prove yourself.”
Often this comes from the well-meant perspective of “encouraging/awakening the competitive spirit”… And guess what? More often than not it doesn’t work!
What starts out as a well-meant challenge ends up in a situation where the leader shows a certain level of distrust in their employee. Who, in return, doesn’t exactly feel good about herself and ends up performing worse.
The way you should phrase your message is from a perspective of trust. Trust people that they have what it takes, hold them naturally creative, resourceful and whole and they will rise to the occasion. The sentence you want to say is: “I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.”
And here’s the scientific evidence that this simple sentence does in fact change everything.