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Could High Quality Connections Improve Your Workplace?

Do some of your workplace interactions leave you feeling a little on edge? And while you wouldn’t choose to have certain colleagues in your life, the fact is you really can’t avoid contact with them if you want to do your job well. So is there a way to positively turn these relationships around?

Given that a lack of trust erodes collaboration, inhibits innovation, disengages employees, and impacts negatively on productivity, not surprisingly it’s one of the core reasons that workplace teams fail or are seriously dysfunctional. However, in contrast workplaces that strive to foster high quality connections where people feel respected, trusted and encouraged have been found to enhance the performance, creativity, commitment, as well as the physical, psychological and social strength of employees.

Professor Jane Dutton suggests that high quality connections – interactions characterized by vitality, mutuality, and positive regard – are vital for individuals and organizations to perform at their best. They can be generated in just micro-moments of genuine warmth and openness that increase our energy and sense of being more alive, and leave us feeling that someone sees the best in us.

How can you foster more high quality connections?

Recently I interviewed Jason Wilburn, a Divisional Manager from Conco Services Corporation, who were finalists in the Center for Positive Organization’s 2016 Positive Business Project in recognition for their achievements in creating high-quality connections across their workplace.

However, five years ago, when Jason first started in this role the picture was very different. He had inherited a negative workplace culture with a lot of fear and anxiety, high levels of staff turnover, and a poor financial performance. There was little trust and cohesion within the team as many of his employees worked in remote offices and traveled significantly. Since then he has changed this to be a workplace unit that has incredibly low staff turnover, and continues to break profit records each year despite operating in a highly competitive market.

Want to know how he finally got his team – most of them in different locations – connecting? Watch the video below to discover my a-ha moment about developing an effective process to build high quality connections and introduce other positive changes in a workplace.

Or listen to my full interview with Jason here.

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