Affiliative an inescapable necessity to achieve resilience

“Man is a knot, a web, a mesh into which relationships are tied. Only those relationships matter.'' – Saint-Exupéry

It’s no secret that happy employees enable a higher productivity at work. Moreover, a recent survey shows that businesses whose employees are satisfied with their organizational culture saw a 16% increase in productivity. Looking at Affiliative, we describe behavior that tends to promote social or emotional cohesion. In the culture of an organization, it can be a way to look at the leadership style of someone who is focused on solving conflicts and creating healthy relationships that boost resilient success.

The Affiliative scale measures our degree of commitment to forming and sustaining satisfying relationships. This style represents a need for social interaction and interpersonal contact. Affiliative people seek out, establish, value, and maintain close associations with others. In fact, they tend to be most comfortable when among those with whom they have established strong emotional and social ties. Family, personal and business relationships are all equally important to affiliative people. Others tend to see them as warm, trusting and socially skilled. They share their thoughts and feelings easily and help others to feel significant and worthwhile.

What are the values on which this virtue is based?

  • A tendency to value relationships above all else
  • A need to build relationships that are meaningful and reciprocal
  • Strong, well-developed interpersonal skills
  • A tendency to motivate others using genuine praise and friendliness

Inevitably, this virtue creates unwritten laws such as “Sharing feelings and thoughts” or “Cooperating with others”.

These types of norms characterize organizations that value cooperative and friendly interpersonal relations. Members are expected to communicate openly, be sensitive and receptive, and show concern for each other. Clients, who tend to be treated in the same way, gain the benefits of being served by people who trust one another, share information, and effectively coordinate even complex activities through cooperative and mutual adjustment.

Affiliative is the virtue that confronts all the sins that lead to individualism and make resilience very difficult. Affiliative is the best method to fight the sins of power and competitive. Despite the praise of individualism in our culture, it should be obvious to everyone that the greatest achievements are only possible with teamwork. Instead of quoting all the studies that prove what we just said, try to find a single example that proves us wrong, but don't spend too much time because you won't find it. Affiliative is the virtue of creating a social network with a commitment to achieve a goal, and what better weapon to ensure a resilient organization?

How this virtue can be enhanced?

If you do not possess it:

  • Take a motivational course or join a professional, civic, or recreational group. These activities can not only result in new friendships, but also in a greater appreciation of people.
  • Look for ways to interact with others, both at work and in your personal life. Stretch yourself by striking up conversations with people you don't know well.

If you have an organization:

  • Create unusual ad-hoc multidisciplinary teams to solve a particular problem.
  • And... Why not? Organize a barbecue with your team or take them out for a picnic. 😉

Check out the Avance Resilience Blog for our whole collection of insights on sins and virtues of resilience and if you want to know more about how to manage change to build resilient organizations, get in touch: