Principles for making organizations work

John Gottman writes about what successful relationships look like and how to strengthen them in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work together with Nan Silver. Below is a summary of Bob Marshall’s adaptation of these principles to organizations:

  1. Enhancing “Love Maps”. Flourishing organizations are familiar with their peoples’ worlds and needs.
  2. Nurture Fondness And Admiration. In flourishing organizations people respect each other and have a general positive view of each other.
  3. Turn Toward Each Other Instead Of Away. Flourishing organizations have more goodwill and positivity stored in their ”emotional bank accounts,” so when rough times hit, their emotional savings cushion conflicts and stressors.
  4. Invite Colleagues To Influence You. Flourishing organizations are places where people consider each other’s perspective and feelings, make decisions together, and search out common ground.
  5. Solve solvable problems. Soften your startup. Make and receive “repair attempts”. Soothe yourself and then each other.  Compromise. It’s important to take each other’s thoughts and feelings into consideration, and to be tolerant of one other’s faults.
  6. Overcome Gridlock. Flourishing organizations believe in the importance of everyone – the organization included – helping each other attend to their needs. Try  to remove the hurt so the problem stops being a source of great pain.
  7. Create Shared Meaning. Flourishing organizations create a community culture that attends to everyone’s needs. In being open to each other’s perspectives and opinions, flourishing organizations naturally thrive.

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