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Positivity Ratios, Flourishing and Languishing 0

Posted on 8, September 2014

in Category leadership

To flourish : definitions –

  • “to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment”
  • “to develop rapidly or successfully”
  • “to be in a period of highest productivity, excellence of influence”.

and the one we like best…..

  • “to grow luxuriantly, to thrive”.

Here’s a great title – ‘Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing’.  In this publication Barbara Fredrickson and Marcial Losada produced the result of their research in the field of positive psychology to demonstrate a magic ratio of positive to negative emotions.  And it is 3:1.   If you have more than 3 times the positive strokes to negatives you are flourishing. If you have less than 2:1 you are entering the languishing arena.  In between you are pretty much at normal.

Whether or not you agree with the research, and there is a whole lot of other data out there aiming at the same ideas, (Gottman’s work with married couples for example), we can assume that having good, positive emotions is a pretty good start for making people feel successful and achieving.

In the workplace, positive emotions benefit the individuals and the organisation, and those engaging with the organisation be they customers, service-users or other.   We associate emotions with particular circumstances or events and they can affect how we behave, our mood and our attitudes.  An organisation staffed by people who feel optimistic, personally resilient, pleasant and purposeful will not only have a high sense of efficacy and possibility but can build  a culture of co-operation, collaboration and collective wellbeing.  The knock-on effect is heightened productivity, better bottom line achievements and a generally nicer place to be and to work.

So getting the balance right and looking to raise the ration of positive to negative is probably not a bad thing to be aiming for.

Picture happy faces

Want to improve your flourishing possibilities?  Contact us at Smart Coaching & Training.

by Isla Baliszewska