What's Love got to do with Business?
Photo Credit: John Jennings - Unsplash
Some years ago I was facilitating a workshop with a large group of participants. We conducted the VIA Character Strengths Survey as pre-work and when displaying everyone’s top 5 Values in Action, we could see that Love came through as one of the key strengths.
Now this was an engineering firm and the ratio of men to women, old blokes to young guns was typical of the day, and as we stood around debriefing the evidence on the wall in front of us, I heard a voice pipe up from the back of the crowd.
“This is bullXXX! What has love got to do with the business environment! “
I decided to take this statement as a question and asked him and the group to go back to their tables with the following activity.
Before we get to the business environment and how love fits into that, can I ask you to do this Love Checklist for your personal life (thinking about your significant and most important relationships). I am going to read you one of the most ancient texts that talks about love (some of you may have heard this text read out at weddings). As you read it, do a quick audit on yourself in these relationships.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Quote (The Bible - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Photo Credit: Leighann Blackwood (Unsplash)
How did you go as you were reading this just now? I am sure in some areas, you are exercising these acts of love very well, in some cases (if you interact with children, or teenagers) you have no choice!
Now re-read the same sentence and see how you go with these things in your day to day life – with your colleagues, your clients, your leaders, your team? I’ll turn these into words that often become organisation values or expected behaviours:
How did you do this time? I am sure you did pretty well, and I also know, because I feel it too, there are some areas you and I need to work on (both in our home life and our work life).
So, for many, home and work are now blended – this may be making it easier or harder for you to live the values. It may be time for you to do some very personal development and consider how you are operating in the blurred lines of love at home and work.
So back to what does love have to do with business? This is how I typically answer, and I do this from a career (purpose and passion) bias.
I assume that you have invested so much time and energy on the career you have chosen, I assume that you love what you do (and mostly who you do it with and for). So why not use the words “love”? I love this job, I love this project, I love it when our plans come together, I love that we can work through issues etc? If you can’t use the words love, that’s okay, I’m sure you are already using the words that define love as noted above.
If you aren’t loving where you are at the moment, it might be time to 'get brave' call a team or family meeting and discuss the love behaviours and commit to working on these over the next few weeks. Everyone deserves to give and receive love both at home and at work.
If you don’t know where to start, consider completing the VIA Character Strengths Survey (the link provided has surveys for adults and children).
Another tool is completing the 5 Love Languages Profile – again this website provides profiles for Adults and Children.
If you need some help re-discovering your Life/Career purpose, or if you need some help facilitating a team meeting to refocus the values, click the contact button and we can have a confidential conversation.