The surprising mathematical law behind successful working relationships…

 

Even if we like a person, it is difficult to predict whether we will continue to get on in the long run and make it through all life’s challenges with our relationship intact.  For example, few couples getting married anticipate that one day they fall out and yet 45% of marriages end in divorce.

To better understand why certain relationships endure and remain productive, researcher John Gottman studied the relationships of hundreds of married couples. And incredibly, he was able to predict with 94% accuracy which couples would get divorced and which couples would last the distance.

How?

Using a ratio. He observed that in instances where the positive feedback the couple exchanged  exceeded the negative feedback they shared at a ratio of three to one or more, their relationships were resilient. Couples who fell short of this golden ratio of 3:1 however, didn’t fare so well.

John Gottman’s findings have been since been replicated in diverse settings. In businesses and colleges the same feedback ratio continues to be an accurate predictor of whether a group will succeed and flourish, or become weakened over time by disharmony from within.

In light of this research it is worth asking what feedback ratio prevails in your workplace and how that impacts on the team?