By Lavern Nissley
Whenever two or more people come together for any purpose, goal or objective, there is potential for things going horribly wrong or incredibly well, with plenty of intermediate options. Most of us have experienced both ends of this social emotionally laden continuum. What is it that influences one outcome or the other?
Mathematician and relationship researcher John Gottman has developed 4 predictors of marriage failure and 4 predictors of marriage success based upon his observation of hundreds of couples. Want to know what they are?
Before listing the predictors, let me say that I don't think these are limited to couples. They can also apply to families, organizations and teams - any context that has two or more people.
I confess that I've contributed to both TeamWork and TrainWreck scenarios - in my marriage, in my family and in work/team settings. I really prefer the former!
TrainWrecks are frustrating and discouraging, not to mention pretty debilitating for relationships.
TeamWork, when people are truly working together, is vitalizing and fulfilling. It's one of the things I most appreciate in my relationship with Ronda - being able to work toward defined tasks, purposes and goals in a way that leaves both of us feeling, "Yeah! We did that together!"
As you interact with people today and throughout this week, take occasions to reflect on how you may be contributing to TeamWork or TrainWreck predictors. It's easy to see what others are doing, but healthy relationships start with me.
(For more insights into Gottman's predictors watch the brief video below)
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.