Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Case For Credible Connections Is Found In Our Absence of Friends

Human happiness and
satisfaction researchers have long known that human
happiness, in great part, is determined by how many
people one is close to -- that is how many friends we

The Gallup researchers, Buckingham and
Coffman, statistically proved several years ago that
whether one has close relationships with others in the
workplace is a predictor not only of increased workplace
satisfaction but of higher productivity.

We also
know the last decade has seen a precipitous decline in
overall satisfaction, especially workplace

We've known all this but could only
hypothesize why it was happening to us.

Now comes
new research from Duke University that finds most
Americans have fewer friends than ever before, and our
shrinking network of credible connections is leaving
many people lonely. Indeed, the average number of close
friends for most of us is down from three to just two
and the number who say they don't have anybody to
confide has doubled.

One of the studies' authors,
Lynn Smith-Levin, observed, "If we are depending on
fewer people for [] social support and help then we may
not have that safety net when we need it. If the numbers
of connections each person had goes down enough, we may
have groups of people that are relatively unconnected
and there aren't any bridges between them."

do we depend less on others?

The answer to that
question will have to wait for the next study, but
excessive work hours, long commutes, and a high tech/low
touch lifestyle have been linked to our diminishing
connections and rising levels of workplace
dissatisfaction and increased risk of disease and

One step at a time the fundamental
premises of Why Work Isn't Working Anymore -- Tools
to Transform Your Workplace As If People Mattered
are being proven. More importantly, managers are
proving through their use of our
relationship-development tools that just as the absence
of happiness is linked to the dearth of meaningful
relationships, so the answer is found in their creation.


Anonymous Jody Sherburn said...

Dear Jim:

YOu haven't heard from me in a while I still enjoy your e-mail
whenever it comes....This is an off the wall question but thought you might have a take on the "Soverign Society" is it a credible group? If you get a chance
let me know...

Regards, Jody Sherburn

8:07 AM  

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