The Importance of High Quality Connections

Think about the last time you interacted with someone who drained the energy out of you. What characterized that interaction? Most likely, the theme of the conversation was predominantly, if not solely, negative. There was lots of complaining and bringing others down. The ‘conversation’ was one-way. The other person shared their thoughts, but when it was time to listen, he or she glanced down at their iPhone. Not surprisingly, like a “motivation vampire”, these exchanges wreak havoc on the internal functioning and effectiveness of organizations.

Now, transpose the above scenario with an encounter that leaves you wanting more. Afterwards, you continue to brim with passion and your energy has shifted significantly upward. You feel a sense of vitality, acceptance, and momentum that is tough to ignore.

These High Quality Connections (HQCs) benefit us on more than just an emotional level. Research from Jane Dutton and her colleagues from the University of Michigan has shown these relationships to improve our cognitive functioning, creativity, and exhibiting of learning behaviours. HQCs also motivate employees to exhibit higher levels of organizational citizenship behaviours, which are those invaluable actions that involve going above and beyond the call of duty. Not surprisingly, there are also advantages to these behaviours at the organizational level, where greater overall efficiency and performance has been found when these relationships are in play.

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Craig Dowden

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Craig Dowden & Associates is a firm focused on supporting clients in achieving leadership and organizational excellence by leveraging the science of peak performance. He is author of Do Good to Lead Well: The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership.

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