It Takes Six Positives To Counteract One Negative


The ideal praise-to-criticism ratio, according to the Harvard Business Review, is 6:1.

“Which is more effective in improving team performance: using positive feedback to let people know when they’re doing well, or offering constructive comments to help them when they’re off track?

New research suggests that this is a trick question. The answer, as one might intuitively expect, is that both are important. But the real question is — in what proportion?”

The average ratio for the highest-performing teams was 5.6 (that is, nearly six positive comments for every negative one).

This is good info to have under your belt, especially as a mom.  And I don’t just mean for your kids…I mean for you.

The numerous things moms do are countless, as we have all seen on the lists detailing the many hats we wear.  Cooker, Baker, Teacher, Counselor, Leader, Disciplinarian, Referee…

And I love them all!  I am certainly not the type to sit at a desk with contentment in my bonnet, so to speak.

What isn’t helpful is negative comments, either from other people or from me.  Because I take my roles very seriously and have put a lot of thought and deliberate effort into them.  So sideline comments about my house, or passive aggressive comments about my cooking, or even remarks about the people in my home will just become a slow churning wheel in my brain.

“What did they mean by this…”  “What did I do…”  “I thought it went well, but…”

and sometimes, “I can’t believe they said that about me.”

Ladies, it is hard enough being a woman.  It’s even harder when the women around us, especially our friends,  are the source of our turmoil.

So how do you put on your adult hat and get over the passive aggressive comments?

6:1 ratio.  Take the time to find 6 things you know for a fact you do well, and write them down.  Post it on the fridge and remind yourself that you are doing fine.

I know…my kids are getting a great education.

I know…my children are happy.

I know…my husband loves me more than life.

I know…my house doesn’t have to be a museum, and it is fine.

I know…my cooking skillz are awesome.

I know…I am a good friend to the friends I have.

Helpful criticism is one thing…I am certainly not one to turn that away.  I think self-improvement is foundational to my station.  But passive aggressive comments are not helpful criticism.  They are hurtful, and they can fester if I don’t do something about them quickly.

And if you are up for the task, you can also make a list of 6 nice things about the other person…but I might need another cup of tea before I get to that one just yet.


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