This article first appeared on LinkedIn
Many people fear relationships, especially in the workplace. Often this comes from a fear of saying something wrong or risking painful outcomes. However, the negative aspects of not having relationships, of loneliness are well documented: A lack of social connections can increase one’s mortality rate by 30%.* Loneliness is as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.* Loneliness leads to higher rates of cardiovascular impairment, chronic pain, and fatigue.*
Please understand that any time you regularly see, meet, or interact with someone, you form a relationship. A shared vision, purpose, or belief creates a strong bond between people. Servant Leaders build and nurture relationships through transparency and demonstrating they genuinely care about people. Those who share those beliefs will follow. The trend towards remote work does not lessen the need for relationships, it simply changes how you build and maintain them.
* Holt-Lunstad, J., Robles, T. F., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Advancing social connection as a public health priority in the United States. American Psychologist, 72(6), 517–530. * Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med 7(7): e1000316. doi:10.1371/ journal.pmed.1000316