Monday, November 27, 2006

Friends at Work

I recently read an interesting book that reminded me of a colleague-Wayne-who opened my eyes to the importance of meaningful connections in the workplace and how this can positively impact workplace climate and culture.

The book Vital Friends by Tom Rath challenges long-held assumptions people have about their relationships. And the team's landmark discovery — that people who have a "best friend at work" are seven times as likely to be engaged in their job — is sure to rattle the structure of organizations. This research and subsequent assessment from the Gallup Organization reveals eight vital friendship roles in your work and life.

  • Builder

  • Companion

  • Connector

  • Collaborator

  • Energizer

  • Mind Opener

  • Navigator

  • Champion

  • Based on this reading and the recent blog Social Networking: How do we become Friends? GK raised several questions, which may merit some further dialog:

    When considering how technology is used in the context of Social Networking, how would you answer the following questions:

  • How does one build this sense of sincerity using technology? What are some examples?

  • How does one connect with another using technology? What are some examples?

  • How do we create a safe environment for people to give and take opinions within a SN technology? What are some examples?

  • For me the bottom-line question is do we believe a culture of friendship at work makes a difference, and if yes:
  • What role should the organization take in fostering these relationships? and

  • What role does technology play?
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