HBR: John Gottman on Making Relationships Work

Making Relationships Work: A Conversation with Psychologist John M. Gottman by Diane Coutu

Great article. Focus is on Gottman’s specialty, marriages, and it’s a bit thin on link to biz relationships — but the advice is very practical. 3 points I liked:

1. “Successful couples, he notes, look for ways to accentuate the positive. They try to say “yes” as often as possible.” Gottman uses metaphor of salt shaker that can be filled with “yes” – how often can you sprinkle that on relationships?

2. “good relationships aren’t about clear communication—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.” This takes making it a priority! Relationship is at the center of the leader’s job, not a distraction from the tasks.

3. There are a lot of theories about the basic things people fight about. Gottman says no – it’s not about a thing at all: it’s about HOW people fight! In other words, it’s not the subject that matters, it’s the emotional message that’s underneath it.

Highly recommended!

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