It is Valentine’s Day, so it feels appropriate to offer something into the universe about love in the workplace. For any saucy minxes out there, I do NOT mean that this blog is about doing it in the stationery cupboard!!! What I mean is that love is rarely talked about in the workplace and, as a wise friend of mine said recently, ‘the world needs more love’, which I think is particularly true in the challenging place we find ourselves in the world right now.
As organisations grow they tend to take on machine-like qualities, to enable standardisation, replication and scale, and many of their original warm human features get lost. Just think about how many times we meet with colleagues and present at them in darkened rooms using PowerPoint – and leave those meetings with no idea of what’s really going on for them as human beings. It seems like, in doing this, we relinquish something vital and important about bringing people together to do work in the first place.
I have a passion for re-humanising the workplace and, as part of that considering our colleagues as people, whom we may grow to love, in a comrade-like way…. Like the Greek form of love known as Philia.
Personally I love Brene Brown’s view on love – taken from her book ‘Daring Greatly’
‘We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give and get, it is something we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people, when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.’
Regardless of which definition of love we are talking about, there are three elements considered universally necessary for love: Understanding, Acceptance and Appreciation. These quotes speak to these dimensions of love and how they relate.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~ Voltaire
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
“Love is a by-product of deep appreciation.” ~ Debasish Mridha
So, if there are people you work with who you appreciate, and possibly love, because they SEE you, all of you, and they have your back… tell them how much you appreciate them today and add some more love to the world!
Kenda Gaynham – thank you for all your help, including your input into this blog – I appreciate you, and the way you see me, and I see you!