Interesting tidbit for your enjoyment:
In his book Why Marriages Succeed and Why Marriages Fail, John Gottman analyzed the ratio of positive and negative interaction with hundreds of couples, and determined the healthiest relationships had a 5:1 ratio. That’s five positive comments to every negative one. Let’s demonstrate this for those of you who are visually oriented:
1. I love you.
2. You are so wonderful.
3. Thank you for cooking dinner.
4. You make me smile.
5. You’ve never looked more beautiful.
6. I am really tired of having to tell you to put your socks in the hamper. Seriously. It’s like you don’t listen sometimes. Do you even listen to me when I talk?
That is the bedrock of a long and healthy relationship, people. Gaze longingly at the socks on the floor. Conversely, Mr. Gottman also determined that couples with a ratio of positive/negative feedback of 1:1 were more than likely doomed to fail (and often did). Again, let me conceptualize:
1. I love you.
2. I wish we had never met.
Get the idea? So how does this relate to your work experience? The simple fact is that these same ratios apply when dealing with praise and criticism in the workplace and can be used as an excellent measuring stick for your ‘marriage’ with your new employer.
“Marriage with my employer,” you scoff (or sneer, depending on your preference), “what kind of creepy associations are you making? Could you possibly be serious?”
Yes. Yes I am.
Think about it, Sneery McScoffington – You spend more time during your life in your place of employment than almost anywhere else. Not in the car, not asleep, not even if you sleep in your car. Your boss, your coworkers…you see them more than your spouse. More than your kids. Is this factual? In many cases, yes. Am I deliberately trying to depress you? Perhaps. So you might want to start looking at your commitment to work the same way you look at your commitment to your significant other.
Listen to the praise you receive, and to the criticism. Take count. What’s your daily ratio? How about your weekly ratio? Are you in a healthy ‘marriage’ in your current employment situation, one of those blissfully sickening types of unions that make the rest of us alternately disgusted and envious? Or are you in a ‘marriage’ similar to any one of the several I have been through?
Food for thought, certainly. Now, go tell your coworkers how much you love them – or how much you wish you’d never met. Whichever feels right.