Through research at the University of Cologne and testing of performance based on luck-related superstitions, it has been revealed that work performance is better and faster in those that are superstitious.
According to to The Guardian, the University research performed four tests. “In the first, they took 28 students, over 80% of whom said they believed in good luck, and randomly assigned them to either a superstition-activated or a control condition. Then they put put them on a putting green. To activate a superstition, for half of them, when handing over the ball the experimenter said: “here is your ball. So far it has turned out to be a lucky ball”. For the other half, the experimenter just said “this is the ball everyone has used so far”. Each participant had 10 goes at putting on the green, trying to get a hole-in-one from a distance of 100 cm: and lo, the students playing with a “lucky ball” did significantly better than the others, with a mean score of 6.42, against 4.75 for the others.”
For those of you who are Harry Potter nerds like me, Ron’s quiddich performance while he thought he was under the influence of lucky juice surely comes to mind.
But does this convey to the workplace?
The Guardian continues by noting that “what’s interesting is that superstition works, because it improves confidence, let’s [sic] you set higher goals, and encourages you to work harder. In a lab. You now know everything you need to decide if this applies to your life.”
Although the results are indeed in a lab setting, people believing in luck traditionally leads to a higher margin of performance- a false performance booster if you will. Facebook philosophers post quotes every day about how if you believe in yourself you can be anything or that if you believe you can’t do something, you’re probably right, etc. but the commonality is one of simple psychology- confidence is from within.
That said, if you have a team and you need a quick performance boost, help them build the confidence they need. It’s not just about a lucky golf ball or a rabbit’s foot, it’s simpler than that- confident employees, agents, and the like perform better if they believe they can.
And here’s the point:
Perhaps the answer for the improvement of the real estate sector is for all NAR members to be given a standard issue lucky trinket that is said to help improve sales. Yeah, that’s the ticket. How do you think superstition can help job performance or the real estate industry as a whole? Is there a superstition or something lucky in YOUR life that you believe helps your performance?
(Yeah, I’m looking at you, Mr. Lucky Mont Blanc guy, you know who you are…)
CC Licensed image courtesy of kaibara87 via Flickr.com.