The Five/Five Formula for Families by Brad Barton, CSP

POSTED BY on January 02, 2020

Would you like your loved ones to be happy they are home or happy they are leaving? How about both?  Not happy that they are leaving but happy as they are leaving – and as they return home. 

Try the Five/Five Formula – a guarantor of successful connection at the most critical daily touch points of your relationships.

The Five/Five Formula

What is the Five/Five Formula? How does it create positive interconnections and a warm, safe place called “home”?  It is simply an exchange of positive energy in the first five seconds and the last five seconds of any family interaction. It is a burst of sweet to flavor the moment. As it becomes a heartfelt habit, it empowers us to create a safe place where family members feel good as they leave – and as they return. 

The “Five/Five” could be five seconds or fifty-five seconds; five minutes, or fifty-five minutes. The important thing is that you frame every family interaction with it.


This burst of positive energy brightens the moment and sets the stage…

How about the challenging interactions? Does this formula still apply?

Yes. This is where it counts most. 

You come home after a stressful day and the kids’ chores are not done. Your teenager returns past her school-night curfew. Your spouse is late – again. What to do?

First, notice the tension – don’t ignore it. Then notice something else: How much you love them.  Why you are glad they are in your life. Then give them “the look” – the look of love. Let them experience your delight in them. Defensiveness fades, tension dissipates and connection is enhanced. This burst of positive energy brightens the moment and sets the stage for whatever follows…

The cool thing about the Five/Five Formula is that there is no family buy-in required.  One reason parental initiatives often don’t integrate well into family cultures is that they feel externally imposed.  Mom or Dad brings home a cool idea which meets immediate resistance.

So, don’t announce it. Just do it. 

Apply the Five/Five Formula at every touch point.  First contact in the morning, last contact at night; as someone leaves the house or the room; as someone returns from a three-day trip or a three-minute absence.  

It’s a look, a touch, a smile… a warm connection so brief as to not require a response.  It’s a simple, non-verbal “I see you” that lets them know they are important to you.  Then you move on, leaving them feeling good or at least important – which is even more important than good.


It’s a simple, non-verbal “I see you.”

This simple habit will Uplift Families as much as anything else we do.  


By Brad Barton 

Brad Barton is a world record-breaking NCAA All-American track athlete. He recently set Masters Track & Field world and American records for the 1500m, 3000m, Steeplechase, and Mile run. Brad is the oldest sub 4:20 miler in history.

Former NSA Chapter President, Brad is a nationally recognized speaker and author of the best-selling book, Beyond Illusions.

A SCC certified executive coach, Brad Barton, is a performance enhancement expert. For two decades, he has refocused great enterprises like Panasonic, Kimberly-Clark, Autoliv, State Farm, US Ski Team, Subway, Brown-Forman, Century 21, Direct TV, Mayo Clinic, NASA, and even the IRS, for continuous improvement and world class excellence.

A master magician, Brad can levitate a card, rip apart then restore a newspaper… but his best trick is showing audiences that we have power to recognize illusions – for what they really areand get on with living with passion and purpose.

Brad lives in Spanish Fork, UT with his wife, Melissa, and their several children.

Get ready to laugh out loud as Brad helps you ignite a world class performance culture!


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