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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Leadership: Building Successful Relationships

From the Harvard Business Review

The editor of the Harvard Business Review interviewed the leading scientist in human relations, John M. Gottman. At Gottman's laboratory in Seattle, the editor learned some insights that are not only good for saving a marriage but also may have some direct impact on the workplace. Made famous in Malcolm Gladwell's popular book Blink, Gottman can predict a divorce with 90% accuracy if he watches people argue together in his laboratory. In a nutshell, here's what Gottman relayed about relationships:

"Successful couples look for ways to accentuate the positive. They try to say "yes" as often as possible. That doesn't mean good relationships have no room for conflict. On the contrary, individuals in thriving relationships embrace conflict over personality differences as a way to work through them." Gottman adds that "Good relationships aren't about clear communications, they're about small moments of attachment and intimacy. It takes time and work to make such moments part of the fabric of everyday life."

So, if you're married or not, at work or at home, you might want to think about saying "yes" more often than "no" and taking the time every day to pat people on the back, ask about their families, or give them a high five.

Check out the entire article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review, p.45, "Making Relationships Work." It's worth reading and passing along.

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