I read an interesting article the other day about negativity versus positivity inside relationships. The article specifically mentioned a husband/wife relationship, but as I read and really started thinking, I saw a very applicable lesson with my team and even my customers. I thought that you, as a small business owner like me, could get some value from the information as well.
The article suggested that for every negative interaction inside a marriage, there need to be 5 positive ones. Studies conducted showed that when there is an equal balance of negative and positive interactions, the relationship is doomed for failure. The same study conducted additional research also showing that team groups with positive to negative interaction ratios greater than 3 to 1 are significantly more productive than groups with less positive interactions.
Our relationships with our customers are affected by this as well. Think about your own decision-making process when shopping around, let’s say, for a new car – the more positive interactions you have with one dealership, the more likely it is that the relationship will continue and flourish. Alternatively, if you have a negative experience, that relationship is also doomed like the marriage I mentioned earlier, and you probably won’t be driving off their lot in a shiny new ride.
So what does this mean for you and me?
Though we may already be doing a good job, there is always room for improvement inside our daily interactions with others. We need to focus on increasing the number of positive interactions we have 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. From our customers to team to families, our goal should be to interact more positively. If we make these positive interactions a part of our organizational process and individual habits they are more likely to happen and stick. The key is to act with intention.
The article went on to say that all of this doesn't mean we should never have negative interactions. We are human after all, and finding a happy balance is necessary for success over time. The same studies showed that if team groups experience a 13 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions, the group will actually be less productive and less effective. Too much positivity can imply that no one is willing to confront the real problems and challenges they’re facing. As you’ve probably learned over the years, ignoring problems doesn’t work. Negative interactions are necessary so long as they occur much less frequently than positive interactions.
I found all of this very interesting and really wanted to share it with you.