Conflict is demanding. Feeling uncomfortable in our bodies is a regular part of it. That can be depleting.
So, it can be helpful to notice how many, if any, positive affirmations we are giving each other. And, as the “enlightened one” (you’re doing the reading on this!) – it might be up to you to lead the way.
There has been so much data and studies and common-sense experience pointing to the power of positive affirmative words. To show appreciation for the small and big things that others around us are and do is impactful. It matters.
In fact, it can turn things in the right direction. The biology of appreciation saturates us in wonderful, feel good chemicals. When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel good.
Conflict can create a trend in the other direction where we start to notice what isn’t going right. That too can become a habit. I’ve seen it enough times when I come into workplaces with conflict. There is a regular going over of the faults of those in conflict.
It takes concerted effort to stand back and decide:

  1. Out of these complaints of the other, which one(s) can I do something about?
  2. What is a small step I can take in that direction?
  3. What can I do to start to re-balance the ratio of negative thoughts I have about this person to positive?

There’s something called the “Losado Ratio” and the “Positivty Ratio” and the Gottmans speak of a 5:1 ratio. All these researchers have discovered that a healthy relationship has approximately 3 to 5 positive comments to every negative one.
Sometimes just sharing this information with your team can be helpful as everyone starts to raise their awareness about how much (if at all!) they are expressing appreciation.
Change starts with awareness.  And because we humans have a “negativity bias” built in from our times in survival, we can all use with a boost of positivity!

Let’s do it! Let’s raise our appreciation ratio!
“Scientists have shown that because positive and open mindsets produce exploration and experiential learning, they also come to produce more accurate mental maps of the world.” … Barbara Fredrickson