025: Leading with a Limp, Part 5: The Safety Net of Friendships at Work
Release Date: 06/04/2019
If you’ve been a leader for any time, you know that strife, betrayal, and even personal wounds will come. The secret to leading well isn’t to avoid these painful times but to embrace them and heal. Creating an exceptionally healthy environment requires intentional, hard work. But do it, and your team will flourish.
In this episode, we consider the value of friendships and connections at work as a safety net to ease the irritation when relationships are strained.
Friendships and Team Engagement
Friendships on the job are vital to an employee’s sense of engagement. Gallup, the leading voice in measuring and reporting on the state of employee engagement included the question, “Do you have a close friend at work?” in their Q12 engagement survey.
Wise Leaders Create Opportunities for Connection
I place little value in trust falls. I think they are a good way to get hurt. The value of experiences like those and others is the opportunity to connect and bond in a non-work-related way. Great leaders create space for their people to connect with and appreciate each other beyond a level of mere functionality in the organization.
Friendships and close connections stimulate the production of serotonin and oxytocin, the biochemicals responsible for feelings of appreciation and connectedness. That sense of connectedness is critical when stress is elevated and relationships are strained.
Make a List
I have a client who brainstormed ideas for encouraging their team members to connect. They came up with over forty ideas, many of which were free or inexpensive. It’s not the magnitude of the moment that matters. It is simply the creation of a moment to bond over shared experiences like family matters, hobbies, sports, or entertainment. These bonds create a safety net and reduce the damaging presence of cortisol in seasons of high stress.
Create moments to connect on a social level for the sake of your team. The mechanics do not matter; the intentionality to provide a moment does. Connections fulfill a deep longing in every individual. Allowing for those connections on the job will help to ensure your team survives and thrives in seasons where relationships are strained.
If you recognize conflict in your team or a limp in your leadership but don’t know where to begin, let’s talk. We offer a great diagnostic tool to determine the strengths and liabilities of your organization. It’s a relatively pain-free process by which we obtain feedback from your team members to identify the roadblocks and blind spots in your pursuit of a healthy team.
Connect with me for a free, complimentary conversation about our organizational-health process. It won’t cost you more than 30 minutes of your time to find out if some feedback would be valuable for you and your team.
Until next time, lead well!