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Hardcover Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without Book

ISBN: 1595620079

ISBN13: 9781595620071

Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without

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Book Overview

#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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Friends--- More Than Just a "Good Idea"

I've heard of good friends, close friends, old friends, casual friends, best friends, even "just" friends, but I had never heard the word "vital" to describe friends until this book. And that is exactly what Tom Rath proceeds to explain, that having friends, real, meaningful engaged relationships, is absolutely vital to our health, our well-being, and our personal and professional success. Not "a good idea" or "important" but actually "vital"- absolutely necessary. He starts the book by stating that so much of the focus on personal and professional success is on self-improvement. But is that really the key? His answer is, "The energy between two people is what creates great marriages, families, teams, and organizations." In fact, his first chapter is entitled, "Who Expects You to be Somebody?" where he wisely observes that it is almost always the influence of meaningful people in our lives that drives us to achievement. The second chapter, "The Energy Between," discusses how, "Focusing on the individual is too narrow -- and focusing on the entire group is too broad. The real energy occurs in each connection between two people, which can bring about exponential returns." His next chapter, "Better than Prozac?" cites some interesting research, including a Duke University study showing people with less than four close friends had more than double the risk of heart disease. The most helpful concept he develops in the book is that of "the rounding error" in chapter 5. It is easy, he says, to expect a friend to be "well rounded"-- in other words, to be good at everything: inspiring us, being a companion to us, giving us an energy boost, expanding our horizions, and a dozen other different things. This often subconscious expectation is both unrealistic (no one person can meet all our relationship needs) and a potential relationship killer, both in friendships and in romance and marriage. In a similar vein, he warns us of expecting friendships to be "reciprocal." In other words, I may be an energizer to my friend, but he may be a mind opener for me. Expecting to receive the same of what I give to a friend again is both unrealistic and a potential relationship killer. I surmise that is why the Duke health research found that it takes at least four close friends-- because different people will speak different things into your life, and you need different kinds of friends to have well-balanced friend "nutrition" for your soul, just as you need different foods from different groups to give your body what it needs. The second part of the book goes into more detail about the vital importance of friends at work, citing both anecdotes and research. The final part of the book more fully develops his system of eight vital friendship roles: Builder Champion Collaborator Companion Connector Energizer Mind Opener Navigator He discusses how these roles differ and how to develop these roles both in your life and in the lives of your friends. The b

Vital Book

Vital Friends outlines the necessity and importance of friends in your personal and professional life. Tom Rath clearly illustrates the "Eight Vital Roles" that friends play in your life: Builder, Champion, Collaborator, Companion, Connector, Energizer, Mind Opener and Navigator. He includes steps on how to strengthen and/or create these friendships. After reading Vital Friends (short read-2 ½ hours) I have a new filter that I will use to view my friendships through and will definitely spend more energy building and strengthening these relationships. The book also includes an online diagnostic that allows you to analyze specific friends and build a website around these friendships provided you have the access code included in the book.

Enhancing the work/Home life

Mankind is a social animal. This book looks at the social aspects of going to work, with particular reference to developing friends whith whom you can talk, socialize, bounce ideas from, and so on. It offers insight I haven't seen before in terms of selecting a small handfull of people to call friends. These, I visualize as the people you might stay in contact with should one of you leave the company. The concept of a small workgroup has long been recognized as being important. Most sports teams, for instance have somewhere between five and eleven players who work together. This book takes that further into finding friends that bring a particular way of helping each other. He does this by defining eight different kinds of relationships you might expect out of a friend. This book provides for some interesting concepts on how a business might be set up to operate more effectively. It is recommended to anyone starting a company or to HR people in larger companies.

Vital Friends ARE Important

While most of us appreciate the importance of a good friend at work, for some reason it does not seem to be a priority for leaders who suggest employees, "Leave your personal issues at home" or "this is work, not a social gathering." Rath does a wonderful job of tying vital friendships to productivity through a review of his and other people's research. One of Rath's insights is that we tend to compartmentalize friends relying on certain ones for support, others for socializing, and a different set of friends for professional/intellectual stimulation. The book comes with a survey to rate your different friends and evaluate their strengths. He then offers strategies to maximize your friendships or to find new friends with the qualities you need to balance out your life. This is a great companion book to other books by the Gallup Corporation including Now Discover Your Strengths; First Break All the Rules; and Follow This Path. Again, while this intuitively makes sense, it's not common practice for leaders to build on the friendships of co-workers. My hunch is a lot of that is due to the paranoia of leaders who fear that friends will band together and question the leaders behaviors. Michael B. Grossman MSN, RN Doctoral Student in Management of Organizational Leadership

Fantastic Book Group Book

Imagine reading this as a book group selection -- read it with friends! Just think of the intriguing possibilities. What kind of friends do you have in the group? This will spark such discussion. How many frineds should be in the group? The more the merrier? Each friend added adds more depth even to the friendships we already have with others since each new friend brings out more in our friends than we would have found out without them. Book groups should pick this one even if they do not think of their memebers as friends.
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