Good relationships keep us happier, healthier, and help us live longer.
Would you be surprised to learn that there is a direct correlation between healthy relationships and happiness?
In 1938, the Harvard Study of Adult Development began to research 724 boys in an attempt to learn what made them happy. The boys selected had widely different backgrounds; some came from disadvantaged and troubled families and others were Harvard undergrads. (The study evolved to include spouses and 1300+ descendants of the original group).
Periodic interviews and surveys were conducted to determine what made life fulfilling and meaningful. The answer: “The stronger our relationships, the more likely we are to live happy, satisfying, and overall healthier lives”.
The study also found that when we have strong relationships, predictions can be made about the health of our bodies and brains through-out our lives. And, it wasn’t just about relationships with friends, romantic partners, and family members, it also included co-workers and colleagues.
Work relationships matter! As leaders, we have the ability to influence those relationships. We can encourage networking and maintaining connections with customers/clients, suppliers/buyers, shareholders/stakeholders in addition to team members. Dr. Waldinger shares that a call, text or email saying something as simple as “just a quick check-in; hope all is well” goes a long way.
Relationships exist when there is genuine interest in one another. Build in a few minutes in your team meetings so attendees can share something personal allowing for relationships to grow. You can also host quarterly team building events. Note: This may need to be done in a “virtual” mode as many workers no longer consistently go to an office but zoom/webex are also beneficial.
How are you letting others know that your relationship with them is important? What are you doing to nurture those relationships?
Mike and Jan