In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and all things Love, I wanted to write about ‘Love’ from a business perspective. When we hear love in business the immediate words that come to mind are: fraternizing, inappropriate, sexual harassment, boundary crossing and the like. Yet, love should be at the core of business. Of course, we are not talking about romance but certainly love. Love in business is multifaceted and should be experienced by everyone at the workplace. So what does love in business look like?
Daniel Goleman, the author of Social Intelligence, speaks of love in business in terms of connection. It is critical, he says, to pay attention, show empathy and compassion, and care about people – really care about your people above all else. He has created three levels of rapport: 1) full mutual attention – an environment established for stopping what you are doing and really paying attention 2) an organic synchrony – easy interaction within the office and 3) Mutual flow – feeling good in an optimal connection.
Another viewpoint of love in business comes from Bruce E. Wilson Ph.D., author of “Be a Leader for God’s Sake”. He explains love in business as agápao love as being the core of a good business. He believes that truly effective leadership involves inspiration, passion, elation, intensity, challenges, caring, kindness, and love. He describes love in business from a values context, such as love, really caring, controlled discipline, seeking to do what’s right at all times, mercy, integrity, focused purpose, and keeping peace. This, he describes, harvests the fruit of agápao love.
The Harvard Business Review reports that employees that work in a loving culture reported much higher levels of satisfaction. They showed up more and performed better. Their research also demonstrated that a love culture is directly related to client outcomes, including improved patient mood, quality of life, satisfaction, and fewer trips to the ER.
My position is that as a leader you want to make people feel that they are important to you, valued not just for their skill or the profit they generate to your company, but because they are important to you as individuals. You need to like the people that work with you and for you. You want to ensure they share not just your vision, but also your values and ethics. This is the culture that you want to set as precedence, and the rest will follow.
Your partner in success,