Added On: Monday, November 12, 2007

Positive to Negative Interaction Ratios

This week's tip comes from my friend Chip Conley, author of the new book "Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow" and CEO of Joie de Vivre hotels. Many people have told me and Chip that we were separated at birth in terms of our approach to business and life.

On his web site,, Chip offers advice on how to engender loyalty:

"Psychologist John Gottman created a landmark study on marriage and found that successful relationships averaged a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. Other studies in the business world have put this ratio at 3 to 1 with respect to what drives productivity in employees. If your workplace is more focused on giving feedback only when something is going wrong, as opposed to celebrating what's going right, you may end up with a high divorce rate with your employees (I'm proud to say that our employee turnover rate is one-fourth the hospitality industry average). These same ratios can also apply to your relationships with your customers, and, miraculously to your investors, too."


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