Collaborator friendships are built around things we have in common. They may be shared experiences, interests, ambitions, or values. Think about…

  • the heroic missions of first responders, soldiers, and social workers
  • the passionate hobbies of sports fans, avid concert-goers, and video gamers
  • the heartbeats of people of faith, people committed to social change, and political activists

While Builders motivate you to reach your potential and Champions fight for you, Collaborator friends share passions and pursuits that matter to you.

Can you think of some Collaborator friends right now?

How Collaborative Friends Meet

You have met friends at work, at church, and in lots of other places. Sometimes we’ve signed up for an event and ended up with a friend. Starting a new job may mean finding a new friend. You discover you like the same music, movies, or books and something just clicks. Don’t miss this: it was your mutual interest in something that first brought you together.

The story of the three young women pictured above can teach us three things about Collaborative friendships.

Collaborative Friends Often Have Their Workplace in Common

Ruth, Jaz, and Char met as members of my team. They did amazing work, brought heartfelt commitment, and made significant contributions. They also struck up a lasting friendship.

I reached out to these three friends, asking them to respond to this question: What is the value of having friends at work?

Ruth said, “Friends help us, build us up, and cheer us on. Relationship leads to trust, love, and care.”

You may not have come to the job to find friends, but when you stumble upon them, it’s a wonderful side benefit. And it’s beneficial to your operation too, as Ruth added: “My friendships with Jaz and Char helped me become a healthier person in the workplace.”

Collaborative Friends Have Things in Common (but not everything)

When we are very young, making friends is fairly straightforward. When you’re a second-grader, you go to school and everyone around you is (you guessed it) in the second grade. You have a lot in common from the get-go.

That changes in adulthood, but friendships can still sprout, As Char describes:

“What I loved about working with Ruth and Jaz was that I always had someone to talk to about life. Even though we weren’t the same age or from the same places, we really connected. We had different cultural backgrounds but we connected through food and many other things.”

Even if there are significant differences between us, we can find we have a lot in common — such as affection. As Char said about her besties:

“I looked forward to going to work because I loved seeing them.”

Collaborative Friends Help Us Survive and Thrive

According to a Gallup report, the three biggest reasons women gave for working are:
1. Income
2. Purpose
3. Friendship

—“Women in America: Work and Life Well-Lived” (

Women care about income-earning and job satisfaction, but that’s not all. Relationships matter and can make work work for you. As Jaz said:

“Having friends at work makes work more fun. Time goes by faster and the workload doesn’t feel so long and tedious. With these two wonderful ladies in my life, I had someone to share my wins and my frustrations with.”

Bosses need to realize that women (and men!) want more from their jobs than a paycheck or a job title. They also want honest-to-goodness friends to share life with. As Jaz said:

“They understood the situations I was in and knew me. They were always in my support corner, to listen and encourage me. I knew I could trust them.”


  1. Who are the friends you truly have things in common with?
  2. Have you ever had a best friend at work?
  3. What difference does a friend like that make?

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