Friends at work make us more productive; yet we do tend to maintain boundaries in work friendships.

Belonging is a tricky concept. While we want to have friends and connections, in the United States we don’t tend to hang out with work friends outside of work events. But because we belong, our friends at work have a positive influence on our work results. Yet there is a shadow too – when conflict pops up with a work friend, as it does in all relationships, the emotional and mental toll can influence our work. Join Jess Dewell and guest Marilyn Shannon to explore ways to embrace and navigate the fact that friendship is personal.

Starting the Conversation…

Which is a continuation of a conversation being had about the importance of friendship on The Breaking Free Show.

  • What does friendship at work look like?
  • How can we navigate the challenges and still be kind and friendly?

Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Marilyn Shannon

What You Will Hear:

Experience of friendship at work.

Limited connections when we work from home.

Tips and ideas to create friends at work.

Difference between in relationship and relationships.

Move forward when we want [a friendship].

Live Audience Question: If our communication can be so simple why we tend to complicate it?

The result of reconciliation is not happiness.

Live Audience Question: What about office romances? Is it a good thing?

Everyone is a leader, use the qualities of leadership.

Level of care and its role in the workplace.

Live Audience Question: What are a few guidelines to be friends with someone I report to or reports to me?

Live Audience Question: Isn’t it true that it’s actually the company culture that dictates whether or not workplace friendships are appropriate?

Explore the actions that may limit connection and relationship.

The role of efficiency in relationships and processes.

It’s BOLD to embrace the fact friendship is personal.

Notable & Quotable:


Marilyn Shannon: It’s always a new beginning.

Jess Dewell: We’re more productive when we have friends at work.

Marilyn Shannon: We have to rely on each other more than we do to create and maintain our relationships.

Marilyn Shannon: Relationships are not 50/50. They are 100/100.

Jess Dewell: Right here, right now, I’m in. I’m all in.

Marilyn Shannon: The simplest things are the most profound.

Jess Dewell: Invite emotions to the table.

Marilyn Shannon: Assume the connection, and that the seed has been planted.


Jess Dewell: When we are uncomfortable, it is our responsibility to speak up.

Marilyn Shannon: Whoever hears the message first has the responsibility to stop or speak up.

Marilyn Shannon: Be a leader in everything you do.

Jess Dewell: Regardless of the role we are in, we care when we take responsibility.

Marilyn Shannon: Give people an opportunity, especially because we don’t know everything.

Marilyn Shannon: Friendliness helps because people want to work for and with people that they like.

Jess Dewell: Small gestures open the opportunity for connection.

Marilyn Shannon: It’s interesting how efficient things become when we have friends at work.

Marilyn Shannon: Intimacy is bold.


Tags: responsibility, quality, kindness, relationship, communication, connection, efficiency, action, perspective, listening, respect