In the 1920’s, psychologist and industrial researcher Elton Mayo ran a series of experiments at the Hawthorne Works near Chicago.
The purpose of his studies was to determine whether the light exposure in the building affected the productivity of the workers.
At first, Mayo seemed to be on to something as the workers did indeed increase their output when he turned the lights up.
But then he noticed something peculiar. The output of the laborers also increased when he turned the lights down.
In fact, it didn’t matter what kind of change he made to the facilities. As long as he did something, the worker’s productivity would spike.
Mayo had just discovered what would later be dubbed…
The Hawthorne Effect
This term was coined in 1958 by researcher Henry A. Landsberger after analyzing the work of Mayo.
The Hawthorne Effect is “a type of reactivity in which individuals modify or improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed.” 1
If you’re a researcher, it doesn’t matter if you change the lights, move the workstations, clean up the facilities, or do something else entirely.
As long as the subjects are aware that you’re paying attention to what they do, they will probably change their behavior no matter what you do.
This finding was so influential it became one of the foundations in the field of social science known as Industrial Psychology.
The Power of Being Observed
You’ve probably experienced the Hawthorne Effect many times throughout your life, for example:
- As a kid, knowing that your parents were watching you.
- In school, knowing that your teachers were expecting certain results.
- At your job, knowing that your boss was waiting for your report.
- In practice, knowing that your coach and teammates were expecting you to do the drills.
So, you know how powerful it can be to have someone hold you accountable.
Still, most of us rarely use this to our advantage when it comes to our personal goals.
How to Use Accountability to Be the Best Version of Yourself
It’s much easier to show up and do the work if you know someone else is expecting you to.
That’s why teaming up with an accountability partner is such a powerful strategy.
A great accountability partner will:
- Hold you accountable (duh) to your goals by checking in with you regularly to see if you’re sticking to your plan.
- Root for you and remind you to celebrate your small wins.
- Offer new perspectives and ideas on how to overcome challenges.
- Help establish and hold you to consequences if you slack off.
- Get a serious Hawthorne Effect going.
(Of course, you would do the same thing for the other person.)
So, how do you go about finding a great accountability partner?
Introducing: The Selfication Facebook Group
A lot of readers have been asking me about how to surround yourself with the right people.
How are you supposed to do this if you don’t know any growth-oriented people?
After giving this questions some thought I realized the answer was right under my nose.
The Selfication community is now thousands of people strong.
And all of us are eager to become remarkable and help others do the same.
We just need a place to connect.
And that’s why I’ve just now opened the doors to The Official Selfication Facebook Group
I warmly encourage you to drop by and share what you’re working toward with the community.
With a little luck, you might just find an accountability partner who will make all the difference in getting there.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
― Helen Keller