John Gottman’s pioneering research found that marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a five to one ratio of positive to negative interactions whereas when the ratio approaches one to one, marriages are more likely to end in divorce. Additional research also shows that workgroups with positive to negative interaction ratios greater than three to one are significantly more productive than teams that do not reach this ratio.
So what does this mean for you and me? For most of us it means we need to increase the number of positive interactions we have at home and at work and reduce our negative interactions.
We need to engage each other with more smiles, kind words, encouragement, gratitude, meaningful conversations, honest dialogues and sincere positive interactions. And to foster these actions we need to create personal and team rituals that help us interact more positively. If we make them part of our organizational process and individual habits they are more likely to happen.
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