Shasta Nelson is an author, keynote speaker, and the Founder and CEO of GirlFriendCircles. An expert on friendships and healthy relationships, she has written several books covering how they impact all facets of life. She has been featured in many magazines, TV shows, and newspapers, including Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Her most recent book — The Business of Friendship: Making Most of Our Friendships Where We Spend Most of Our Time — is a guide to developing deeper connections with your colleagues. She joins Marcel Schwantes to discuss the power of friendship, and why it’s important for the workplace.

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Show Notes

    • Marcel asks Shasta what inspired her to write her recent book. “I would often ask why businesses aren’t taking all the research surrounding the importance of friendships among employees seriously. It seemed that people would only take it seriously if there was a book about it as a business subject,” she replies. [4:07]
    • The results of a Myers Briggs Institute survey about job satisfaction suggest that the bottom line for job satisfaction is having closer relationships with your coworkers. Socialization is a human need, which is why we function best when we feel like we belong to a community. [12:09]
    • Friendship is a triangle of three requirements, which are: positivity, consistency, and vulnerability. Positivity is the foundation of the triangle. Every relationship starts with low levels of consistency, and therefore low levels of vulnerability. As consistency increases, so should vulnerability. [16:15]
    • Marcel asks Shasta what leaders should be doing to counter loneliness at work. There is a prevalent belief that managers do not want friendships among coworkers. Shasta remarks that the first thing leaders should do is dismantle that belief, and make it explicit that they encourage close relationships in the workplace. [21:45]
    • The biggest obstacle preventing an organizational culture of friendship is the mental block we have against it. Another big obstacle is a lack of positivity in the workplace. [33:35]
    • Marcel asks Shasta why she thinks fear-based management styles are still prevalent. “Fear [levels are] high in all of us individually, so it makes sense why it’s affecting us collectively. Much of our lives are controlled by fear, and we are affected by each other’s mood.” [37:01]

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About Marcel Schwantes

Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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