We might ask ourselves what love has to do with our work life and leadership!?
I would like to make an argument as to why love has everything to do with it!
When our workplaces aren’t working as good as we want them to, we rarely hear an argument for ‘lack of love’ being the missing part, or that love would have the power to create great change to the work cultures and leadership. And there are good historical reasons for it that I won’t get into, but I will however make an argument for love being the missing piece in improving our workplaces and our leadership.
Hence, in this article I will address the most powerful force that we can fuel every part of our life with, not the least our work life and our leadership: the power of Love!
First, I will present you with qualities representative of love. Secondly, let’s look at why those qualities makes all the difference to our work culture and our leadership. And lastly, I’ll go through what it takes to apply a more loving approach, so that you can fuel your work life and leadership with the power of love!
Though hardly indefinite and immeasurable in our experience of it, love might feel a bit vague as a concept when related our working life. This could be in part due to a romanticized idea about love, a ‘romantic love concept’, and in part we tend to think about love as associated to ‘special relationships’ such as family members and dear friends. But if we look at the qualities of love, we might find its relevance for the workplace and ways of applicability equally so.
Qualities of love: Empathy, respect, belonging, trust, faith in others, kindness, caring, inclusive, generosity, intuition, flow, presence, equality, willingness, openness, altruism.
These qualities are powerful and important for three main reasons, for the way they make the receiver feel, for how they make the person practicing them feel and for the impact they have on our relationships and actions. Hence, our results.
Above listed qualities when applied in our relationships shape and form our experience. They make us feel: Important, heard, seen, entrusted, believed in, respected, cared for, safe, liked, included and valued, to name a few.
Emotional states of mind which are representative for feeling good about ourselves and our life, and that create the so often talked about psychological safety, which is crucial to innovation, creativity, our ability to solve problems. A working culture defined by the qualities of love allows us to be ourselves and open to our potential.
So, lastly HOW can we apply a more loving approach, to fuel our work life and leadership with the power of love?
As with change in general, it starts with us. In applying a loving attitude to our actions, we most often need to start with practicing self compassion and deepen our self love first. In order to give love and be in a compassionate frame of mind when relating to others, we need to become conscious about how we practice the qualities of love described above.
Hence, self awareness and self enquiry are important tools in coming to a deeper understanding about how we act in the world. To ask ourselves how our actions align with the qualities of love?
Love asks us to be brave and vulnerable in our relationships. We need to practice compassion with ourselves and those around us, to take responsibility for how we feel, how we make others feel and to challenge ourselves and others in being authentic and transparent with our emotions. In short, to make our own choice to embrace vulnerability and be open to ourselves and others.
Yes, that is why love can feel demanding and that is why a more loving way of relating to others is scary, and yes it’s also why it’s so powerful as it pushes us out of hiding. It’s an approach and a practice that holds us accountable for our actions and feelings.
In a time when we are constantly asked to change, the benefit of a loving approach is more important than ever as applied love helps us overcome the emotional resistance to change. The qualities of love makes us feel the safety we need in order to embrace challenges, overcome difficulties and tap into our potential.
So if you ask me what love has to do with solving the challenges we see in our workplaces and experience in our leadership, I'd say that love had everything to do with it!