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The Losada Ratio.


The Losada ratio of 2.9013 is the minimum ratio of positivity to negativity in the workplace that needs to happen for a team to function successfully.

This minimum ratio 0f 2.9013 was calculated by Marcial Losada and his team using mathematical modelling of measurements of positive and negative events and comments in the workplace, the ratio of positive and negative events was then compared to team performance and it was found that 2.9013 was the minimum threshold needed for a team to perform well.

The implication of this ratio means approximately 3 positive events (or precisely 2.9013 for Geeks like me) need to happen per negative event to optimise team performance and productivity.

I know that a good working environment makes a huge difference in my productivity and also that of those around me, this ratio is more evidence to confirm that surrounding yourself with other positive people at work is one of the key elements that leads to success.

A positive working environment helps to develop motivation and teamwork among colleagues, what surprises about this ratio is that negative events and comments can really change the working atmosphere and negativity is poisonous to performance.

All it takes is one negative comment from a single grumpy ‘nay sayer’ and if Losada’s ratio of is correct we would need another 3 positive comments to cancel out this single negative event.

Time and time again when hiring personnel I’ve learned the lesson (sometimes the hard way) that it is essential to wait for the right person, this ratio confirms my experience that a negative person could be toxic for your team, because people who habitually focus on the negatives in everything slowly drag down moral and productivity to their level.

So choose your team wisely, show positive leadership and focus your team on the positives to create an atmosphere where your team will flourish. Positivity doesn’t cost anything but it’s effect makes a big difference to those around you, positivity gathers momentum and positive events (of 2.9013 to those of negative ones) could really be the difference between you getting through tough times or your business falling by the wayside, even Confucius had the right attitude.     

‘Choose a Job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’.


Losada, M. (1999). The complex dynamics of high performance teams. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 30 (9-10) pp. 179–192.

Losada, M. & Heaphy, E. (2004). The role of positivity and connectivity in the performance of business teams: A non-linear dynamics model. American Behavioral Scientist, 47 (6), pp. 740–765.

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