Do you have a best friend at work?
Updated: Jul 13, 2022
Hello and welcome to my new blog about leadership and executive coaching from Elnor's Corner, the safe space to explore and develop your leadership potential.
In my blogs I try to raise awareness about good coaching practice, what I think is important in for positive organisational cultures to thrive and guide people towards some great resources out there to support them in their own working lives. Of course coaching with me might also help :-)
If you haven't heard of the Gallup 12 and you are interested in how good your organisation is to work in compared to others then you should look it up. The 12 questions are asked in every staff survey around the world that Gallup are involved with and they have decades of experience in developing them and can help you to understand the science around them.
One key question for me is question 10: Have you got a best friend at work?
At first this might seem like a strange question. Why would you need a best friend at work? Haven't I got best friends outside of work?
I would start by saying that organisational life is complicated. And post pandemic research tells us that complexity is on the increase rather than on the decrease. There is potential for the BIG RESIGN, people reportedly more anxious than before, coupled with an acceleration in remote or hybrid working and expanded use of digital technologies. A mixed bag that in many ways can cause us to become more isolated from each other. I am a great believer that human connection is part of what makes us whole. Us as people and networks and organisations as living ecosystems. I believe that modern organisations have a social responsibility to ensure that their people have positive working environments and the Gallup 12 encapsulates those questions which senior leaders as well as employees should be asking themselves.
What I like about the questions is that they are questions not solutions.
Coaching is about questions that make you think and hopefully act on what you learn and I think when the right question comers along with some time to think and reflect with people we trust they can unlock potential in people. A professionally trained and experienced coach with whom you 'click' and who you trust can also be a huge support for senior leaders and executive to help maintain perspective and build resilience and resourcefulness in a period of significant and accelerated change.
I would suggest that resilience is a key part of the recovery from the pandemic, and I would also suggest that your resourcefulness is a key part of your resilience capability or what is sometimes termed your negative capability or in systems thinking terms your coping capacity. Having a best friend at work means you have someone to share your experiences with who will support you without judgement. That's what friends do, isn't it? Tough love might be there too but that is friendship. Having a best friend at work means you can try things out, share some thoughts and not worry about the consequences - this is what psychological safety is about - and without it we suffer from not being able to explore confidently and creatively.
In my previous blog about Advice Monsters which I would also recommend you read, I ask people to stop and think about their advice monsters in order to tame them. A best friend at work who has tamed their advice monster is a very good friend indeed.
Hope you enjoyed this blog, please get in touch if you'd like to find out more.