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3 reasons to be friends with your colleagues

It seems like we are always striving for that “work-life” balance. Although we don’t want to spend our whole lives working, why do we think we need to keep our “life” out of work? This is particularly true when it comes to friendships. We spend a lot of our days, weeks, months and years at work – or working in some way – and often with other people.  While there may be occasions when becoming friends with your colleagues can be difficult or can distract from you ability to actually get work done, here are 3 reasons why becoming friends with those you work with makes a lot of sense.

  1. Innovation.  When you work with your friends – or you become friends with those you work with – you have more freedom to be creative, open-minded and willing to take risks. You are willing to be more vulnerable and to share lots of crazy ideas in order to get to one really good idea. You see unique solutions to complex problems because you are willing to look at them from the perspective of someone you trust, admire and respect – your friend.  You are also often energized by these friendships and can develop some amazing resources, tools, plans and products.
  2. Impact. When you work with those who are your friends, you are able to make an impact that is bigger than you as an individual. When you work with people you enjoy spending time with, it’s much easier to get focused on project and keep working until it’s done. You can remind one another why you are doing what you are doing and help each other stay energized even when you might feel weary.  You are able to see the strengths and weaknesses in one another. Since you are friends, you are more are willing to talk about them and figure out how to maximize or minimize them to reach your collective goals.  When there are obstacles and setbacks, you are willing to do what it takes to help yourself AND your friends be successful.
  3. Influence. When you are friends with the people you work with, you naturally have influence on them – and they have influence on you.  Many people think that leadership happens when you are specifically named the “leader” of the team; however, for those of you who have worked in teams and with partnerships for a while, you know that the true leader is the one who has influence. And one of the best ways to gain influence is to develop authentic friendships with the people around you.  As Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

What about you? What are some other reasons you can think of to be friends with your colleagues?

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