John Gottmann is a well known marriage relationship expert. His claim to fame is being able to predict marriage stability with 90% success rate. He is now getting recognition for the 5:1 ratio. This ratio can work for marriages, but it can, also, be carried over to all of our relationships - work, family, friends, etc...
Gottmann' theory is that the difference between happy and unhappy relationships is based upon the balance of positive and negative interactions during conflict. The 5:1 ratio seems to be the magic number. For every one negative interaction, there should be 5 positive interactions to keep the relationship happy. For example, if you're sending your employees constant negative emails, rarely anything positive, the relationship won't be successful.
The interactions don't need to be big. One eye roll counts as a negative interaction while a quick, lighthearted joke counts as a positive interaction.
Try it. See how your relationships relate on the 5:1 ratio scale.
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