Social SupportWhen we see LinkedIn or Facebook updates about work anniversaries and birthdays, we may feel we don’t have the time to say congratulations, but research tells us that this is actually time well spent for us all.

In fact nothing is more crucial to our success than the support of those around us. Whether that be the people who work with or for us, our leaders, people we outsource work to, people we learn from, people in our network, our friends and our family.

The big mistake we can make in times of challenge is to switch off from this social network and go it alone.

During the recession team training was wiped out, social perks rationalised and team meetings jettisoned as people closed down and battened down the hatches. When we have our own personal challenges, our focus can exclude those around us too.

The most successful people will take the opposite approach. They know their relationships are their greatest asset.

In a famous long running psychology study, 268 men were followed from their entrance into college to when they were old men. 70 years of evidence showed that the biggest impact on a happy and full life was their relationships with others. We need good relationships to thrive. We bounce back from setbacks faster, accomplish more and feel a greater sense of purpose.

The most positive people know this to be true. In a study titled “Very Happy People” researchers looked at the characteristics of the happiest 10% of people and found that only one characteristic distinguished them, the strength of their social relationships. Other empirical studies have found the correlation between social support and happiness to be 0.7, which is a very strong correlation!

We are literally wired to form bonds. When we make positive social connections, oxytocin is released (the pleasure inducing hormone) and our bodies can literally malfunction without social support.

Amazingly research has shown that people who receive emotional support during the 6 months after a heart attack are 3 times more likely to survive!

So investing in your social connections means you will find it easier to experience adversity as a path to growth and will help you bounce back from stress and adversity faster with more protection from its longer term effects.

Research show us that social bonds are predictive of our happiness, but also our career achievement, business success, health and income!

So make sure you find time to keep connected and if you have people in your organisation, see the importance of the social bonds they develop too. Maybe the chats at the coffee machine are not time wasted, but time very well spent!


To find out more about ways to build your business success and be happier in what you do, please join us at our upcoming free events “Achieving Success and Happiness in Your Business”. Click HERE to book your place.


Picture credit: by Ambro