It’s not exactly a revolutionary idea that positive, healthy relationships are essential to a happy life. We are all, on some level, aware of this. However, as human beings we often unintentionally prioritize life’s everyday demands over these relationships. But what impact does this have on our health and happiness? In his TED Talk, Dr. Robert Waldinger offers a glimpse into this answer as he shares key insights from the longest-running study on adult development created by researchers at Harvard University.
The study first began 75 years ago and continues to this day. Waldinger, the fourth director of this study, outlines the origin of the study and how its initial participants were selected. Of the original 724 participants, about 60 are still alive, most of them in their 90s. You can learn more about the Harvard Study of Adult Development here.
Through interviews, medical records, bloodwork, and other research, the key insight from the longest and most intensive study on human wellbeing is this:
“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier…period.”
Something interesting to note is that these relationships can seemingly come in any form, so long as they are positive and impactful. Familial, romantic, platonic, or community-based relationships all help keep our minds and bodies healthy. Whether it’s being with friends, coworkers, or neighbors, you will benefit from meaningful interpersonal connections.
Waldinger’s TED Talk caught our attention because we truly believe in the power of good relationships. We know that workplace relationships (whether they bring us joy or distress) form the environment we work in, which can have a profound impact on our overall satisfaction and performance.
Having the tools and knowledge to uncover insights like, “What motivates me?” and “What causes me stress?” gives people the ability to reflect and adapt to the communication needs of those around them. When we approach our interactions with the other person’s needs in mind, we start to build a stronger foundation for our relationships. It’s from this foundation that we can create deeper, more meaningful bonds.
“Over these 75 years, our study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned into relationships with family, with friends, with community,” says Waldinger. “What might leaning into relationships even look like? Well, the possibilities are practically endless.”
Everything DiSC transforms the lives of people— both in the workplace and in their personal development. People who know how to sustain good relationships are happier and healthier, which ultimately adds to the value they give back to their organization. This creates a wonderful cycle that promotes positive cultural shifts and overall wellbeing in the workplace.
We echo Waldinger’s closing remark, “The good life is built with good relationships.” And with the right tools, those who once faced challenges building good relationships are now able to take an entirely new approach toward creating meaningful bonds with others.