We tend to avoid talking about love in the context of the workplace. Most of us associate the word love with the personal and not the professional. But in a fuller context, love has many spectrums that include caring, consideration, civility, restraint, and understanding one’s intention before making decisions or taking action.
Love is not only a verb but a way of being, and a way of relating to ourselves and others.
When we look at the spectrum and facets of love, we cannot deny that every living being just wants to be loved.
We all want to be recognized.
We all want to be appreciated.
We all want to be respected.
We all want and need reciprocal relationships.
We all need support and understanding.
We all need to be seen.
We all want the comfort and security of trust.
No matter what your position or title, the one thing human beings have in common is the need for love.
The problem is that we often try to achieve love in unproductive and ineffective ways.
Some people try to get love by proving they are right.
Others try to get love by showing their intelligence.
Some try to get love by their beauty.
Some try to get love by being funny.
Others try to get love by admitting they are always wrong.
Many strive to maintain love by avoiding difficult conversations.
Some try to get love by saying “yes” when they want to say “no.”
Some believe they will finally be loved when they make more money.
Others believe they will get more love when they get the promotion.
There are three ways all of us can receive more love:
- Connect with Your Higher Power
We are all born with a connection to something bigger than ourselves. We know when things are not right. We know when we are off. In my book, No-Drama LeadershipI call this type of “knowing” spiritual awareness. Spiritual awareness is our direct connection with the Divine, that something that is bigger and more powerful than ourselves. Spiritual awareness and alignment occurs when we are “right” with ourselves and others. It’s our inner compass to help us course-correct when we are living and leading against our deepest values.
When we align with this power we feel supported, confident and on course.
But often we lose this alignment when we betray our highest values in our quest to seek love from the outside. We all have an inner knowing when we are off course. It feels bad to be in bad relationship with others, and our energy becomes drained when we act out of accordance with what we know to be good and right.
- Make Peace with Where You Are and Who You Are.
Whether you are striving for a higher position, more financial success, or more recognition, you must first make peace with where you are today. In a practical sense you must accept where and who you are, and at the same time continue to focus on your desired end result. Let go of comparison and no competition and fully accept your own path of growth. Trust the process. Do the work required. You are enough already and there’s no need to resist your history, or your present moment.
- Show More Love to Everyone You Meet.
Make love your practice. The challenge is real. The opportunities to show love arise when it’s inconvenient, when you are tired, angry, and when you are overworked.
Take the breath of patience, offer to listen without judgment, or acknowledge someone’s efforts. Look that waitress in the eye. Give some grace to the clueless fellow who sat through the green light. Decide to hold your tongue rather than lash out.
The cool thing about giving love, is you can do it now. Giving love is not dependent on how someone else acts. It doesn’t take a title, a pay level, or education. You don’t need approval. You don’t need prestige, more knowledge, or permission to show some spectrum of love to everyone in your path whether it’s listening non-judgmentally, showing kindness, offering support in the time of need, or even initiating a difficult conversation with someone who shows up with a drama orientation.
When you are in the midst of a culture change ask yourself two questions:
- What kind of love is needed for this change?
- Where can I choose to practice love?
Marlene Chism is a consultant, international speaker and the author of “Stop Workplace Drama” (Wiley 2011), “No-Drama Leadership” (Bibliomotion 2015) and “7 Ways to Stop Drama in Your Healthcare Practice” (Greenbranch 2018). Download “The Bottom Line: How Executive Conversations Drive Results.” Connect with Chism via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and at MarleneChism.com