Thrive with a Little Help from Your Friends

by Akana, Walter Friday, November 16, 2007
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There is a long-standing view that when Lennon and McCartney penned the words, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” they weren’t referring to people. Nonetheless, they hit upon an important truth: we all get by with a little help from our friends. In fact, it seems that we could all get to thrive with the help of our friends.

Based on research on aging, it is clear that friends are an important lifestyle factor. Quite simply research supports the fact that, on average, people who have lots of social support (read “friends”) are healthier than people without it. Moreover, frequent visits with friends and attendance at meetings or group functions are considered productive activities. Oh, and productive activities? Participation in them is another factor in aging successfully.

Speaking of productivity, research has shown that employee satisfaction goes up 50% when people have at least one close friend at work. In the same study, it was also discovered that:

  • people who have a “best friend” at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work, are more engaged with customers, and more likely to innovate and share new ideas;

  • with at least three close friends at work, people are 46% more likely to be extremely satisfied with their jobs and 88% more likely to be satisfied with their lives.
So, what research is this, you ask?

These conclusions come from research that draws on more than five million interviews conducted by The Gallup Organization to determine the value of friendships in our public and private lives. The findings are published in the book Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without, which was authored by Tom Rath, worldwide head of workplace and leadership consulting for Gallup. In addition to looking at friendship at work, Rath also discusses the role of friends in other parts of our lives.

So, clearly friends are a key to your success: whether you are seeking to stand out in your career, achieve better work-life balance, or to live a long and vibrant life.

Contact me if want to create a plan for expanding and enhancing the quality of friendships in your life.