How to Make "High-Quality Connections"

Creating an Energetic Workplace

How to Make

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Making the right connections can boost your team’s health and happiness.

Our daily dealings with people can have a real impact on our mood, our energy levels, and our motivation.

A positive, upbeat exchange with a friendly colleague can get your working day off to a great start, but a listless greeting from another team member might bring down your energy level and dampen your enthusiasm.

Our sense of connection to the people around us influences our personal outlook and can also impact the atmosphere of our workplace as a whole. So how can we create a happier, more productive environment?

Jane Dutton, professor of business administration at the University of Michigan and author of the 2003 book, Energize Your Workplace: How to Create and Sustain High-Quality Connections at Work, says the key to building a healthy and energizing workplace is to create "high-quality connections."

In this article, we explain what high-quality connections are and why they are beneficial, and look at the consequences of poor-quality connections. We also suggest ways you can create high-quality connections at work – and in your personal life.

What is a High-Quality Connection?

When you meet people at a conference, at work or even on social media, you're making contacts. But you may not be making a connection.

High-quality connections are interactions that make you feel engaged, open, motivated, and revitalized. They are not necessarily dependent on close or intimate relationships – a quick message or a simple exchange in a meeting can be high quality if it makes both participants feel valued. Whenever your connections are high quality, you can transform a conversation into one that benefits everyone.

Benefits of High-Quality Connections

Positive connections can create enormous benefits to individuals and organizations. Friendships are examples of high-quality connections – and we all know how much happiness and energy a good friendship can bring. Many of the approaches we explore in this article can be used outside the workplace – you may find they help energize and improve your relationships with friends and other social contacts.

According to Dutton, high-quality connections offer three main advantages:

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