Adam Grant, Jane Dutton discuss loneliness, high-quality connections on WorkLife podcast

April 24, 2020

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty affiliate Adam Grant interviews CPO co-founder Jane Dutton in the WorkLife podcast episode, “We Don’t Have to Fight Loneliness Alone.”

The episode explores how workplace loneliness can hurt employees’ health and productivity, as well as creative methods managers can use to encourage high-quality connections as an antidote. Grant taps his mentor Dutton for her expertise on how to create those high-quality connections.

“You know them subjectivity because they literally light you up,” Dutton says. “They leave you in the moment feeling more energized or a greater sense of vitality.”

Fortunately, Dutton says, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to go from being lonely to feeling connected.

“Forty seconds of interaction—a positive, caring interaction—has measurable impacts on both people,” she says.

Dutton is a CPO core faculty member and the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Emerita Professor of Business Administration and Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Grant is The Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management and a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

This WorkLife episode was produced before remote work became a feature of our lives, so Grant had another conversation with Dutton about loneliness at work. Read more about that interview here.