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Helping Lonely American Employees So They Thrive
Several facts recently caught my attention.
These facts all point to the conclusion that loneliness is on the rise in America. As we pointed out in our book Fired Up or Burned Out and in The Connection Culture: A New Source of Competitive Advantage, people need human connection to thrive. We are human beings, not machines. When we don't experience sufficient human connection, we dysfunction. This may include experiencing feelings of emptiness, boredom and depression. It may lead some to engage in substance abuse to numb the pain. Others may pursue illegitimate thrills to feel alive again and in doing so develop addictions to pornography, sexual encounters with prostitutes and one night stands, or taking excessive business risks. These paths never end well for the individual, their families and friends, or for their organizations.
To combat the pervasive loneliness that's damaging American society and organizations, leaders need to create Connection Cultures that unite people and develop "relationship excellence" that supplements efforts to develop "task excellence" in organizations.
There are three general types of cultures in organizations when it comes to relationships and connection:
Which of the three cultures do you work in? If you're not working in a connection culture, what are you going to do about it? You can make a difference if you (1) educate yourself to advocate for developing a Connection Culture, (2) walk the talk and (3) develop the courage of your convictions to influence others.
Let me encourage you to begin by reading two free resources. The first is the changethis.com manifesto entitled The Connection Culture: A New Source of Competitive Advantage. The second free resource is the Leader to Leader Journal article entitled "To Boost Productivity, Connect with the Core" (it has great stories about Admiral Vern Clark, chief of the U.S. Navy, and Bono of the rock band U2). After you've read the articles, I encourage you to sign up for our email newsletter after which you will receive a free digital version of the book that introduced Connection Cultures entitled Fired Up or Burned Out.
(Note: the facts cited at the beginning of this post were sourced from The Lonely American.)