When something bad is about to happen, people will get tense. When beginning a competition, people will become focused. When preparing for a happy occasion, people will become relaxed. They anticipate what the event will entail and set their own expectations and body language in preparation.
Effective teachers know this, and they will prepare their students by getting them ready to learn. They call it the “anticipatory set.” It makes learning more effective for the students, and easier for the themselves.
Leaders and managers can do the same thing, by creating conditions in which their people perform at higher than normal levels, depending on what the challenge is. From high-stress to low-stress situations, an anticipatory set improves outcomes.
What is the anticipatory set that you create for your weekly staff meetings, your one-on-ones, and other key interactions?