By Larry Kendall, chairman of The Group, Inc. and author of Ninja Selling

In his great book “The Happiness Advantage,” Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor points out that happiness is not the result of a sale. Rather, his research shows that a sale is the result of happiness. How can this be? It’s simple – when we’re in a positive energy state, customers enjoy being around us, we are more productive and, consequently, we are more successful. As a leader, what can we do to give our team a happiness advantage?

It starts with how we help our team manage there emotional energy. Their personal energy and their combined energy in an office or company can be measured on two scales. Their energy ranges from negative to positive and from low to high as shown in the chart below.


At any given moment, our team members are in one of these four energy quadrants. Their combined energy puts our whole office or company into one of these quadrants as well.

The high positive energy quadrant is called the performance quadrant. When it’s time to meet with a customer, recruit, or lead a meeting, we need to be in the performance quadrant. Out goal for a sales meeting is to have everyone leave the meeting in the high positive (performance) quadrant.

As a leader, one of our most important responsibilities is to keep the office environment positive, so our people have the happiness advantage documented by Shawn Achor. Here are five tips to help you:

  1. It starts at the top. You set the tone. Daily gratitude will help you stay positive.
  2. Go to and show Shawn Achor’s video at your next meeting.
  3. Make sure your office staff attends this meeting. They are the “keepers of the space.”
  4. Set a goal for every meeting to end with your team leaving in the high positive quadrant.
  5. Exceed the Losada Line (see below for explanation) of 2.9013 in your one on one interactions.

A decade of research on high-and low-performance teams by psychologist and business consultant Marcial Losada found that 2.9013 is the ration of positive-to-negative interactions necessary to make a corporate team successful. This means that it takes about three positive comments, experiences, or expressions to fend off the effects of one negative. Dip below this tipping point, now know as the Losada Line, and workplace performance quickly suffers. Rise above it – ideally to a ratio of 6 to 1 – and teams produce their very best work. They have a happiness advantage. ^

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends, Inc. Copyright 2016

The Minnesota REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.


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