Love changes everything. Why not at work?

man wearing black cap with love your neighbour print during daytime
This cap is from LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR, a label from Switzerland that donates12% of their sales to the homeless. Have a look at their website

Love. “IT HAS NO PLACE IN BUSINESS.” I hear those sentiments often. But why?

Is there some reason that emotion, one of the most fundamental aspects of being human, is somehow anathema to business?

What exactly is everyone afraid of?

And why is love, perhaps the most positive emotion of all, totally off limits?

Is there something wrong with love?

In my experience, love is something everyone wants. It’s talked about in almost every song, play, movie, TV show, book, or story ever created. Why is it wrong to love your teammates and customers, not romantically but in the caring, courteous, concerned sense? Is caring, courtesy, and concern for the wellbeing of others not okay in business?

If you are one of those saying that caring, courtesy, and concern for others is not okay in business, look around, you are almost assuredly having employee and customer issues if not personal issues as well. 

You see, all employees and all customers are people, and people are emotional creatures. And love, one of the most prevalent of emotions, is certainly going to rear its head whether you want it there or not. Every time an employee works hard to push something through to take care of a customer, it’s love—in action. Every time an employee stays late to ensure some work is done for another teammate, it’s love. Every time a manager tells an employee to take as much time as they need after a death in the family, it’s love.

Love doesn’t mean bringing flowers to work and proposing marriage, it means patience, kindness, generosity, civility, honesty, helpfulness, cooperation, and wanting the best for others to name just a few of its components.

At the same time though, love can be tough. Sometimes love may sound anything but loving. Anyone who has ever been on the wrong end of your mother’s hand when you did something dangerous as a kid, you know what I mean. When you were grounded and given hard labor for doing something you were expressly told not to do, as much as it seemed harsh, it was love.

So, what’s the problem? Love is something everyone wants, it is talked about to no end, it is fundamental to most everything we humans do, yet it is off limits at work.

Well, to hell with all of that. We need to let love into work. We need to promote it instead of trying to mute it, because, for all intents and purposes, it is immutable.

Love. Talk about it. Make it part of your workplace. Bring all its effective and positive qualities into your customer spaces. What I have found is that instead of hiding from it, when we open up about it, it changes everything. It can soften the most hardened of hearts. It can give people hope. It can simply make everything, and I mean everything, better.

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