The Importance Of Building Healthy Relationships At Organizations And Working Adults

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When speaking to organizations and working adults, such as MBA students, our focus was on how to organizationally foster social investment over divestment. As one example, organizations need to enable better decision-making and moral judgment during times of turmoil and stress through policies and systems that foster cultures of trust and moral courage, not mistrust and fear. When members of an organization trust and feel positively toward one another, the organization functions better (Bolino, et al. 2002). Displaying and enabling virtuousness is an important component to this. Individuals identified as virtuous have been shown to be better decision makers (Staw & Barsade, 1993), report lower levels of psychological distress, and exhibit less destructive behaviors (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000)–all serving as critical buffers protecting individuals and organizations against the negative effects of the stresses and uncertainties prevalent in our hypercompetitive, contemporary society (Cameron et al. 2004). We emphasized to undergraduate students the importance of building healthy relationships during this important phase of their lives as they transition into building careers. Again, the effects our networks have on our lives are far-reaching and cannot be overstated: how much money we make, if we are overweight, our choice of a partner, whether we get divorced, and even who we vote for (Christakis & Fowler, 2009). Healthy social relationships also protect us from the
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