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What is your Positive Ratio?

Ever since I came across the research from David Maister which revealed that a 15% to 20% increase in employee satisfaction delivered a 42% increase in profits, I have been interested in discovering the underlying drivers of profits.

If you think about it, it’s common sense; happy people are more likely to be positive with clients, colleagues and have more energy. But, common sense is now becoming common knowledge because research from neuroscience, psychology and economics makes a clear link between a happy workforce and better business performance.

There have been over 200 scientific studies involving 275,000 people and they have found that happiness drives success in every aspect of our life.

This is fairly new knowledge. Until 1998 there was a 17-1 negative to positive ratio of research in the field of psychology. We are expert at how to be depressed, now we are starting to discover how to be happy. And, how being happy drives success, not the other way around.

A tip for you
According to Shawn Achor author of The Happiness Advantage there are seven  principles to happiness. This article cannot cover them but here is one tip. Consciously do good deeds. They do not need to be big, just done consciously. For example, you could let a couple of cars out in the traffic jam coming to and from work, take your glasses back to the bar or pay for a lottery ticket for the person and the checkout. £1 to buy a burst of happiness is cheap at half the price.

What the book does reveal is that it takes a ratio of 2.9013 to 1 positive to negative interactions to make a team successful.  The research goes on to show that a ratio of 6 to 1 positive-to-negative interactions creates optimum teamwork.

The example in the book is a mining company that was coached to increase their ratio from 1.15 to 3.56 positive to negative interactions. What they found was that production and performance increased by 40%!

How much would that sort of improvement be worth to you?

If you work on your own then you can still use research on yourself. I will be sharing some practical things you can do with yourself and employees in a follow up post.