Love is in the air this week. On Friday, February 14, millions of Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day and spend an estimated $19.6 billion, including more than $1.8 billion on candy alone. According to Good Housekeeping we will also send 145 million Valentine’s Day cards.
The Loveless Workplace
Today’s modern workplace is a loveless space. Polls and surveys consistently report that most people don’t enjoy their work or those they work with, especially their manager. It’s a jaded view that has an impact. When we hate our job it decreases morale, job satisfaction, and employee engagement.
Leaders often create these unhappy scenarios. During a week celebrating expressions of love, what can leaders do? How can they cultivate and improve workplace relationships?
Loving at Work
Loving at work isn’t a lustful, selfish version. We get enough of that in advertisements, magazines, and movies. I’m referring to loving the work we do and respecting those who work with us.
Loving and working have more in common than you think.
A leader’s work is all about relationships and interactions. It makes sense that love should guide his or her daily actions and decisions. These specific attributes can easily be applied at work.
Leading with Love
- Be patient and kind. Persist against the odds and genuinely care about the needs of others.
- Don’t be envious or boastful. Guard against wishing for what others have. Don’t be overly proud of your personal or professional accomplishments.
- Avoid being arrogant or rude. Don’t exaggerate your own importance or act impolitely.
- Be less demanding and irritable. Don’t be hard to please, intolerant, or bitter if things don’t go your way.
- Rejoice in the truth. Encourage your direct reports and colleagues to tell the truth. No fear. Zero retribution.
- Believe, hope, and endure. Accept change and differing opinions. Trust those you work with. Express optimism and confidence in the future. Tolerate the faults of others.
If you are cynically wondering what love and work have in common, that’s your answer.
I hope leaders are inspired to practice the way of love in all of their encounters. We don’t need a designated day to celebrate love. Lead with love today, and every day of the year.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com