#1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath delivers a fascinating read that will change the way you look at your family, friends, coworkers, and significant other.
What’s the quickest way to ruin a friendship? Can bosses actually learn something from marriages? Are very close friendships in the workplace such a bad thing?
These are just a few of the questions that #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath asked when he embarked on a massive study of friendships. Along with several leading researchers, Rath pored through the literature, conducted experiments and analyzed more than 5 million interviews from Gallup’s worldwide database.
His team’s discoveries produced Vital Friends, a book that challenges long-held assumptions people have about their relationships. And the team’s landmark discovery — that people who have a “best friend at work” are seven times as likely to be engaged in their job — is sure to rattle the structure of organizations around the world.
Drawing on research and case studies from topics as diverse as marriage, management, and architecture, Vital Friends reveals what’s common to all truly essential friendships: a regular focus on what each person is contributing to the friendship — rather than the all-too-common approach of expecting one person to be everything.
Rath’s fast-paced and inviting storytelling takes a mountain of important research and makes it remarkably accessible and applicable. By the time you finish reading Vital Friends, you’ll see your family, friends, coworkers and significant other in a whole new light.
Friendship may be coming into vogue as a topic (to wit, Joseph Epstein's new book Friendship: An Expos ), but Rath (coauthor of the bestselling How Full Is Your Bucket?) takes a pragmatic rather than philosophical approach. He explores the inherent value of friendships and says that the need for friends goes beyond commonality or companionship; in particular, he devotes a section to friendship at work, which, unlike many companies and managers, Rath sees as a positive force. Rath's research shows that employees who have a best friend in the office are more productive, more likely to engage positively with customers, share new ideas and stay longer in a job. Citing illuminating cases and surveys (many conducted for the Gallup Organization), Rath shows that many people succeed or fail based on the support and involvement of their best friends. Rath posits eight vital roles friends play: some are champions for each other; some collaborate; some connect people with others; and some build each other up through encouragement and trust. Rath's bullishness on friendship is based on solid research and couched in intelligent prose. 150,000 first printing.