Friendships at Work and Beyond with Shasta Nelson
I've been studying friendship now for twelve years really specifically, I passionate relationships in general but I found myself looking at US some studies coming out talking about specifically at a time for women, how significant their friendships were to their health into their happiness, and yet I was looking around at all of us being so obsessed with the parent child relationship and the romantic relationships, and like we were buying thousands of books and we were like, who am I if I don't have these relationships and it was like that was just like the we think of them as they the kind of things we need in our lives and yet the research shows that those things. Actually aren't always that great happiness and our health and traditionally haven't always been that way and that our friendships that Matt make such a difference I found myself kind of in that space where I was looking around being like, why aren't people talking about this more? Why aren't people doing research on this? Why are we not finding resources for people and that's really what kind of just put me in that space I wasn't because I knew that much about it was because I was. Asking the questions and just trying to find resources for people people I was working with and stop and ever since then I've been reading and devouring and learning, and listening, and teaching, and writing books, and speaking, and gathering up, you know most of its with women and This book puts me a little bit broader. I'm doing more co ED, which is actually very cool too because I've long felt that men I think this is one of the reasons why they die younger than women. And and I think this is why I think men need. I don't think it's a women's issue. I think it's a human need and so I'm really excited to be talking about it in broad terms to but yeah friendship is like the thing. The thing and you actually have a ministerial decree. Don't you approaching this from a really sort of holistic perspective yet my training as a got a massive divinity and I used to pastor and so it felt like a big veer off the road. But when I, look back on it, I was like that was where I was doing marriage counseling I was training small. Groups here Emmy, as a pastor, you're asking the question, how do I bond community what is community and how do people belong and and really thinking through when somebody walks in the door is visitor what does it mean to actually participate belong and so yeah I've in many ways have always been about community and wanting money all of us to feel that sense of. Your belonging and unfortunately in churches, not all of them but unfortunately, in most churches will you can experience that belonging, but there's a lot of. That, you have to believe a certain thing to belong or you have to behave a certain way to behave behavior. You have to appear a certain way to you know and that kind of never rubbed me right either. So it's really just how do we all as humans get that need to feel connected met and ways where we just feel accepted for who we are. So yeah, that's been a life passion. An and what made you want to tackle the workplace side of it then? Yeah, that's a good question I. so here's the thing. My second book was titled French Missy, and that one was talking about how most of us when we feel lonely and as a word that most of us don't actually even use the name very well. But when we feel like we want something more most of us, it's not we want more interaction or that we need to. Know more people that we need to make new friends. Most of us that we need to, we need to have closer relationships where craving intimacy were craving more meaningful relationships, and so I was noticing that a lot of us when we felt lonely, we were like, Oh, I need to go make friends I need to meet people and I was like, no, you actually know enough people you don't feel known by a few and so you need to let go. And when I teach what deepens relationship one of the three things that deepens relationships is consistent time and shared experiences and repeated interaction and I this won't surprise you at all. The number one thing I heard is I don't have time for that I don't have time to be that consistent I can only meet her for lunch once a month or I can only see them once a year I fly out there or I just don't have time to be on the phone I just over and over and over I don't have time. And I've thought, you know I could do my darndest to like into one more hour week and and that's not going when you see the numbers collectively of sixty one percent of US feeling lonely on a somewhat regular basis I was like I don't think I can talk you into one more hour and that's going to make the biggest difference I. Think we need to tackle. You know work is like two adults. What school is two kids. This is where we're spending time with people where we're interacting. We're making our biggest contribution and I was like, why don't we talk about putting friendship and our whole life as opposed to trying to fit it in his personal life bucket with a thousand other things and to me this is really answering the question of how can we? Get more of our emotional social needs met in the biggest part of our lives in that bucket. So it's answering the question I don't have time. Well you do. Doing. Yes exactly. But but I think a lot of people feel a little weird about that. Right? I mean first, we're accustomed to thinking of life in separate spheres but you one is where we can have this this vulnerability, the intimacy with people in our personal lives. You, know we feel a little bit weird about that in in the workplace is, is it okay to be vulnerable and intimate with people at work? Yeah. Absolutely. It is and it's so interesting because we are uncomfortable with it when I was doing the research about thirty percent of esther like. And yet when asked, how many of us lot a friend almost of us are like Oh. Yes. Please in at work like we're not sure it's appropriate but we want one and also it is it is whether we like it or not. It is the number one place adults are making their friends and so that is happening and the much bigger question is it is happening we need it to happen. What we need to do is talk about it more and teach healthy expectations and set this up so that it's best for the people involved and for the workplace and the research shows it is absolutely. Paramount, not to are not only to our individual health and happiness but to the organizations of who we work, which is really fascinating. I mean there's twenty years of research I mean we're talking. Decades and many many different people studying it in a variety of different ways who say if you have a best friend at work, you are the best employees for the workplace you're more engaged you have better treat the customers better. You're less likely to leave. So we're bringing our turnover costs down. You call in sick last year fewer workplace accidents. I mean, you just look down the list and the people who? Have a best friend at work. Absolutely show up and feel more engaged look forward to Monday morning the Monday morning in air quotes and feel like they wanna feel support it and they feel safer brainstorming they feel safer taking risks they feel safer showing up with the ideas and those last few ideas are examples of vulnerability in the workplace and to your point a lot of us are like. Well, we picture people. Telling personal drama and just being all these heated one last night and we picture `vulnerability and we have like these fears the pop into our head immediately and I do teach incremental slow vulnerability when we're talking about disclosing and I teach how to do that and healthy Safeway But more importantly, vulnerability is what we need in order to brainstorm. It's what we need to say, I, actually don't know the answer to this or I actually need help with this or. Not just diversity inclusion is vulnerability. It's like let me I don't want to just have you be a token different person at the table I. Actually want your differences, the impact art answers here and your story to change what we're trying to do and how you're experiencing this and I'm all. When we actually list everything we want for the workplace and how we will be better together it takes an incredible amount of vulnerability to to do that.