It’s not exactly a profound idea that meaningful, happy, healthy relationships are key to a happy life. We’re all aware of this on some level. However, as people with busy lives, we often unintentionally prioritize life’s everyday demands over these relationships.
So what impact does this have on our health and happiness? In his Ted Talk, Dr. Robert Waldinger suggests some insights to answer this from the longest-running study on adult development created by researchers at Harvard University. One key takeaway is:
“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier…period.”
Interestingly, the relationships can come in any form (familial, romantic, platonic, community-based, etc.) as long as they are positive and impactful.
We know workplace relationships can have a profound impact (joyful or distressful) on our overall satisfaction and performance. This study shows that people who fared the best were those who leaned in to relationships. “What might leaning into relationships even look like? Well, the possibilities are practically endless,” says Waldinger.
Employees who know how to sustain good relationships are happier and healthier, which ultimately adds to the value they give back to their company. This synergistic relationship promotes positive cultural shifts and overall well-being in the workplace.
Dr. Waldinger’s final comment resonated with me, “The good life is built with good relationships.” Providing your employees with the right tools for communication, feedback and how to overcome conflict will support their ability to build good relationships and support them into new approaches toward creating meaningful bonds with others.
Here is the Ted Talk from Dr. Robert Waldinger that was referenced above. He shares information on the Harvard Study of Adult Development which began over 75 years ago and continues to this day. Of the 724 original participants, about 60 are still alive, most of them in their 90s.