Ratio of Criticisms to Compliments is woefully imbalanced…

I was reviewing my Son’s supplemental essay for College applications and came across a statement that he used to describe my feedback approach…”My Dad’s ratio of criticisms to compliments is woefully imbalanced.”  Let me spare you the rest of the color commentary.  Not flattering to Dad.  Whoa.  Trying to make him better?  Yes.  Trying to making him the best he can be?  Absolutely.  “Woefully imbalanced?”  Really?  Definitely a teachable moment from Son to Father. This post was inspired by my Son, by Patsi Krakoff in her post The Magic Ratio of Positive and Negative Moments and by Psychologists Donald Clifton and Tom Rath in their book “How Full is Your Bucket” which I read a few years back.  A few excerpts:

  • “Nobel Prize-winning scientist Daniel Kahneman stated that we experience approximately 20,000 individual moments in a waking day.  Each moment lasts a few seconds in which our brain records an experience.  The quality of our days is determined by how our brains recognize our moments – either as positive, negative our just neutral.  Rarely do we remember neutral moments.  In some cases, a single encounter can change  your life forever.
  • “Everyone has an invisible bucket.  We are at our best when our buckets are overflowing (with positive experiences) and at our worst when they are empty.  Everyone also has an invisible dipper.  In each interaction, we can use our dipper either to fill the buckets (with positive experiences) or to dip (with negative experiences) from other’s buckets.  Whenever we choose to fill others’ buckets, we in turn fill our own.”
  • “…individuals who receive regular recognition and praise increase their individual productivity, increase engagement with colleagues, are more likely to stay with their organization and receive higher loyalty and satisfaction score
  • #1 reason people leave their jobs: They don’t feel appreciated.”
  • 65% of Americans received no recognition in the workplace.”
  • 9 out of 10 people say they are more productive when they’re around positive people
  • Every moment matters…
  • “A recent study found work groups with positive-to-negative interaction ratios greater than 3:1 are significantly more productive than teams that do not reach the ratio.  …The magic ratio: 5 positive interactions to 1 negative interaction
  • 5 strategies that they use to increase your magic ratio of positive to negative moments in any given day:
    1. Prevent Bucket Dipping.  Develop habit of asking whether you are adding or dipping in to bucket.  Work toward a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative comments.
    2. Shine a light on what is right.  Try focusing on what employees or peers do right rather than where they need improvement, and discover the power of reinforcing good behaviors.
    3. Make Best Friends. People with best friends at work have higher workplace productivity.
    4. Give Unexpectedly. A recent poll showed that the vast majority of people prefer gifts that are unexpected.
    5. Reverse the Golden Rule. Instead of ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ you should ‘Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.’ Individualization is key when filling others’ buckets.

Sources: “The Magic Ratio of Positive and Negative Moments” by Patsi Krakoff.  “How Full Is Your Bucket” by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton.  Image: zaazu.com