Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday Review- Vital Friends

After Coach Gwozdecky preached to me about networking Monday, I felt it was only necessary to write about relationships in my next post. Vital Friends by Tom Rath is a novel I recently completed that provides a compelling look at friendships and uniquely analyzes the impact of interrelationships on your everyday life. The power of friendships and interconnectedness is clearly revealed in this novel. In contrast to last weeks review, Creative Coaching, Vital Friends uses some experimentation (mainly surveys) as a means to provide evidence for the conclusions made. Now, I know surveys aren't the most scientific method of data collection known to man, but it is more reliable than anectdotal evidence.

The results that were obtained in some of these surveys was remarkable and the impact friendships have on our life every day are truly amazing. In one of the examples given, the author along with fellow researchers interview a group of homeless people and find that one of their reasons for isolation is that they have been abandoned by their peers and all of their family/friends. Once they no longer had someone who believed in them, they in essence had no one to live for or to give them hope. This situation was not very motivating and they eventually lost hope in themselves as a result of those around them. This was very striking to me and stood out among the various studies reviewed.

In another section of the book, Rath outlines eight types of people: Builders, Champions, Collaborators, Companions, Connectors, Energizers, Mind Openers, and Navigators. Rath gives examples of each and outlines how each can improve a relationship. There is also a section on creating more friendly work areas and creatively designing work spaces to facilitate friendships which is definately something I have never thought of before.

Overall, this was a great book providing an easy read with a great amount of mind opening knowledge. If you want a different look at how you define the relationships around you I suggest reading this book. Thanks for reading the blog.

1 comment:

  1. I just listened to this book on audio and can tell you (as a newly retired teacher and coach of 37 years), it is ALL about relationships--with students, colleagues, parents, paraprofessionals, bosses, and friends. That's how things get done. Good luck!