As it turns out, work is more enjoyable when we have friends at work. Yes, friends at work matter. This weeks’ show is all about high quality connections and what we can do to create them with the people that we work with. What we know is that the two main domains that contribute to a person’s overall life satisfaction are their satisfaction in relationships and work. This fact holds true regardless of socioeconomic status and any other variables. So, relationships at work really matter. We’re talking about how to create these high quality connections at work with other people. A high quality connection is a short term, dyadic interaction that is positive in experience for both parties. Notice that short-term part in there? This is a key distinction.
So, why do high quality connections really matter? It turns out that optimal functioning at work includes having regular levels of positive emotions, positive relationships and positive meaning. High quality connections at work also improve individual functioning via our cognitive and behavioral processes and have advantageous effects on our physiology too. The other good news is that we can also feel more supported during times of stress at work. Now, there is one other really cool thing about high quality connections is that this doesn’t mean that we have to spend hours with another person to create these connections or require us knowing their entire history. So, this means that we can create these connections fairly quickly. Well, how do we do this? Here are some suggestions; be present and notice the other person, share appreciation, engage with others in a way that sends a message of value and worth (respectful engagement), build trust, and task enabling (help/support another person’s successful performance). One of my personal favorites is to share appreciation with others directly when I notice something that I do appreciate either about them or something specific that they have done. The key here is to make it sincere. Try some of these approaches to create high quality connections at work for yourself and see what happens for you. You can also share your comments with us below and let us know how this works for you.