We all know that love is a complex and powerful emotion, but did you know that it can also be a complex yet powerful experience to utilize in business? In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why love can be tricky in the workplace, and we’ll provide some tips for how to navigate these waters. Stay tuned!
Love is one of the most powerful emotions we experience. It can be a significant motivator in our personal and professional lives.
Reasons why love is a complex experience in business
We’re often required to make decisions that impact more than just ourselves in business. For example, when working on projects with coworkers, employees, and customers, it is crucial that we effectively manage emotions: especially intense emotions and very strong feelings. And we’re not just talking about managing emotions around romantic love. One survey found that 1 in 5 people hate their boss. That doesn’t sound like romantic love. It’s on the extreme opposite end of intense emotions.
Tips for navigating emotional experiences at work
There are several ways to help navigate the complex terrain of love in the workplace–and this doesn’t necessarily mean workplace romance.
1. Be understanding of your employees’ feelings
It’s important to understand that our employees are people, too, and they’re entitled to their own emotions. Sometimes, issues in the workplace may stem from disagreements or personality clashes that occur between team members. When these conflicts crop up, it’s best not to ignore them. Instead, by engaging with each other and finding resolutions, we can create more harmony between employees who aren’t getting along.
2. Address performance problems when they arise
If you notice an employee isn’t performing up to the level you’d like them to, it’s best not to sweep their behavior under the rug and hope that it will get better on its own. Instead, try bringing this up with them in a constructive way and provide examples of what they could do differently. If we cannot address performance problems when they arise, we risk more significant issues.
3. Don’t shut down employees’ emotions
If an employee feels frustrated or uncomfortable about something at work, don’t ignore these feelings! For example, notice when a person on your team becomes demotivated because of something you did. It can be an opportunity to reflect and learn how we might not have been the best manager in that situation.
4. Create a safe space for employees’ emotions
Sometimes when people feel uncomfortable or hurt by things that happen at work, they hold these feelings in and don’t talk to anyone else about them! Instead of allowing this to happen, create a culture where people feel like they can come forward and express their feelings without fear of judgment or retribution.
5. Follow existing company policies
If you work at a company with an employee handbook or code of conduct, make sure to abide by these policies! Policies are put in place for a reason—to help foster a positive environment that allows employees to do their best work. If we go against these rules, we risk creating more conflict between ourselves and others at work, which is just something that we don’t want to do. Admit it or not, we are emotionally dependent on each other while working.
However, love is also one of the most complex emotions we experience. Therefore, it can be challenging to apply it in business contexts.
It can be essential to recognize how love manifests itself in the workplace to engage with our employees positively.
1. Employees may have an emotional investment in their work
As people who spend most of our lives at work, it’s not surprising that many individuals have a lot of emotions invested in what they do daily! You might notice this when something is going great or when someone has been doing well at their job lately–you may say things like “I’m so proud of you” or “You’re killing it!” In these moments, you’re acknowledging that employee’s feelings and allowing them to share theirs with you.
2. Love shows up when we see the best in other people
When we look for the best in others and appreciate their strengths, it’s an excellent opportunity to connect and show love. For example, you might say things like “I’m so glad that you’re on my team” or “I can’t wait to work with you,” which reaffirms that relationship and makes the other person feel special.
3. Love also shows up when we care about someone’s well-being
We might want to express care for others by saying things like “Are you okay?” or offering support through feedback or advice if they come to us looking for help. Sometimes we think of this as tough love, but it can be a form of compassion and affection instead! The key here is not to criticize and only offer support when the other person welcomes it.
4. Love shows up through mutual respect
If a colleague or direct reports show us gratitude, we can express affection by saying things like “Thank you!” Likewise, suppose a person on our team makes a mistake, and we’re able to point out where they could improve without being critical. In that case, this is also an example of love in action! The key here is to be encouraging instead of attacking–try not to put people down or make them feel bad about themselves.
Prioritize these four ways to show love at work so that everyone feels appreciated and valued for their contributions!
There are three key ways people can use love effectively in business relationships: motivator, connector, and driver.
Love as a motivator
You might use some of these expressions to show that you care about someone, but they can also serve another purpose – to motivate your staff. For example, if you tell an employee, “I appreciate your hard work on this project” or “You’re doing a tremendous job!” You’re saying, “the work you are doing has value to me.” It is very likely to motivate them to continue the good deeds because they want to maintain this positive relationship with their manager.
Love as a connector
When we look for the best in others and appreciate their strengths, it’s an excellent opportunity to connect and show love through verbal communication. For example, you could consider saying things like:
“I’m so glad you’re on my team!”
“I can’t wait to work with you!”
These statements will reaffirm the relationship and make the other person feel special.
Love as a driver
You may want to express care for others by saying something like: “Are you alright?” Then, if someone comes to you looking for help, ask them how you could be of assistance. For example, a mentor might provide feedback or advice if their mentee comes to them seeking guidance on a particular challenge they’re facing at work. The key here is not to criticize and only offer support when the individual welcomes it. If you apply this strategy right, you will allow your colleagues to learn from their mistakes without feeling disheartened about it. Showing that you care enough about other employees to offer guidance may encourage them to make better choices in the future.
1. Showing love through verbal communication
2. Expressing your care for employees
3. Expressing your concern for others’ well-being
4. Using encouragement instead of criticism
5. Through mutual respect
Learning to show love at work effectively is essential for being a good manager. Still, it’s also something that all employees should learn since everyone wants to feel valued at their workplace!
When used correctly, love can help to build solid and successful business relationships
Love can be very beneficial to businesses, but it may not always be understood or utilized correctly. Love’s not only a positive force in business, but people can also use it to help businesses grow.
The various types of love present in relationships, including business, are agape, eros and philia. Agape is pure, willful, sacrificial love. On the other hand, eros is the Greek god of erotic love. With it comes life-preserving instincts and impulses to protect the body and mind. Did Cupid’s arrow hit you? Romantic love? Philia denotes fondness. Especially an abnormal attachment to a specified thing–not welcomed in a workplace.
Typically people are hired for their technical abilities and skills, so many of the leaders we work with aren’t necessarily skilled at getting deep into emotional terrain. Plus, the distinction between what’s legal vs. moral or ethical may get blurred when people who rely on data rather than their hearts enter the picture.
While love in business is genuinely beneficial, it can also be a challenge. It may even appear daunting. Traditional notions of doing things don’t always allow for love. In addition, it’s not always easy to express feelings and positive attributes such as love in workplaces. Maybe because of boundaries or people who would rather keep feelings hidden rather than risk appearing vulnerable or weak.
The most crucial thing is understanding the value of what you are receiving from your employees and business relations. With that understanding, you can decide whether certain employees are worth keeping around despite any negative factors they may bring about. Gossip, backstabbing, or just plain indifference about how their behavior affects others are examples, and it’s up to you to know when to choose when to show them the door.
Meanwhile, there are many ways companies have used the power of love to their advantage, including:
They may have allowed a little humor to help the cause. The leaders at companies may have provided a positive work environment where employees felt accepted and appreciated, increasing efficiency and building psychic bonds that produce trust in teams or leadership. They may have made sure that every employee knew how valued they were when they heard ‘thank you’ from someone in upper management at least once a month. In short, show your team members love by letting them know how much their efforts mean to you and your organization.
Frequent recognition of accomplishments goes a long way towards strengthening relationships between workers and managers alike. All work is based on relationships because everyone has family members, friends, clients, and bosses who require attention for tasks to get accomplished day-to-day. If the relationships aren’t working efficiently, the work won’t either.
Companies should aim to use the power of love as much as possible by regularly recognizing their workers’ efforts and allowing them to feel appreciated, comfortable, and safe in their jobs. This way, trust is built between workers and management, which will lead to more efficient work performance overall.
However, when misused, love can lead to loss and disastrous results
Love may be important to a successful business. However, when employees or managers lose it, and a lack of trust develops, it can sometimes lead to negative feelings and results. A lack of communication between partners is another risk factor for corporate love gone wrong.
In the end, understanding how you feel about your colleagues is an invaluable asset that many people have yet to dig deep enough to explore and discover. Discovery starts with being honest with yourself about just what it is that draws you towards others, then being honest with them about your thoughts and feelings too. Finally, it all comes down to who a person will open their hearts to and share their feelings. As more people warm up to this idea of ‘holding nothing back’ while investing the time and effort to communicate in respectful ways, the business world will be a better place for everyone.
So how do we ensure that we use love in the right way in our business relationships? By understanding love’s complexities and applying it thoughtfully.
Analyze it. Using love in work relationships can lead to success and improvement. Respect everyone’s feelings and treat them all with equal care to get the best results from using love at work. Employees should be able to trust that upper management cherishes their contributions.
The more people keep their feelings accessible, including managers and employees, the better the chance of having a successful and rewarding business relationship.
Although some companies have successfully used the power of love in their corporate environment, others haven’t. Why? Because they disagree that this is always an effective way to improve employee engagement or company loyalty. Though there is a time and a place for displaying affection towards another person productively and effectively, most people agree that a business environment is not one of them.
Others think this is a simple issue to understand. If you love someone, or something, or even someplace such as your workplace, it means that you want the best for that person, thing, or place, and you care about their well-being. But, how does this relate to a company? Company leadership wants the best results from its employees as possible; therefore, they should genuinely appreciate everything every worker brings.
Love is a complex emotion that can be difficult to understand and even more challenging to apply in business contexts. However, there are three key ways love can be used effectively as a motivator, connector, and driver of success. When you use love correctly, it helps build strong relationships with your customers or clients. Still, the consequences could lead to disaster for your company when you misuse it. Remember three things to help with successful results from using this powerful emotional force in our professional lives. Know what type of person you’re dealing with; do not over-commit yourself, and manage expectations accordingly. Want to discuss the best ways to approach motivating, connecting with, and caring for your team members? Schedule a call with us here.