As the festive season approaches – we want to talk about L.O.V.E. LOVE!
Love is not a word we often hear in the office or in meeting rooms. Yet feelings of love have a huge impact on teams, wellbeing, performance, and workplace outcomes.
When we say ‘love’ we don’t necessarily mean romantic love, but rather ‘compassionate love.’ Love based on caring, warmth, connection, and affection.
Research tells us that the more love we feel at work from our leaders and colleagues – the more engaged we are, the more we show up to work, the more satisfied with our jobs we feel, the more commitment to our organisation we express and the more accountable we are for our performance. Not only that but when we are with people we love, the body releases hormones, such as oxytocin and dopamine, that generate feelings of trust, pleasure and closeness.
Feeling connected to other people is one of the most satisfying experiences a human being can have.
Individuals, managers, and leaders who forget to focus on the emotional culture of their team and organisation – in other words, who forget to spread the love – are missing a very big trick.
As Martin Luther King once said, “Love is the greatest force in the universe” so let’s tap into this powerful force to help build more trust, collaboration and caring, to increase team performance, creativity, and commitment as well as to improve the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of everyone around us.
Here are some tips on how you might spread a little – or a lot – more love today.
Check in on the emotions you are spreading through what you do and say – emotions are contagious and create the ‘cultural blueprint’ of your relationships, friendships, team, and organisation.
1. Language of love – Consciously choose to spread more love by using the word LOVE a lot more today. As human beings we need to know that we are more than just an object or machine performing tasks. “The feeling of being a mere thing for someone else’s use drains the self of meaning and value” ― Sue Gerhardt, Why Love Matters. We need to feel and hear that we matter. So, what do you love about an individual? What do you love about a team? What do you love about a client? What do you love about the way something was done? Say it! Tell them! Start with the words “What I love about you/this team/this partnership/this idea….is….” And spread the love this holiday.
2. Smile – Smiling at others is super contagious. It is very difficult to frown at someone who smiles at you. Smiling reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and increases endorphins. Smiling makes you appear more likeable, more courteous, AND more competent. Studies show that people who had a big smile in their school yearbook photo went on to have far more successful relationships, higher wellbeing, and more ability to inspire others – compared to people who didn’t smile in their yearbook. They also lived on average 7 years longer than the non smilers! Plus, one smile can generate as much brain stimulation as up to 2000 bars of chocolate! And no calories.
How fabulous is that! So, spread the love and spread the sunshine today by consciously smiling a lot more.
3. Ignite Love – Sometimes you can do even more than spread love. You can ignite feelings of love in other people. Meaning they are then more likely to express and share love with others…the big love ripple effect. An easy way to ignite love in others is to ask leading, specific questions using the word love. For example, rather than simply asking a team or colleague “how is the project going?” or “how are things with that client?” – you can ask much more love-igniting questions like – “what one thing do you love about this project team?” or “what do you love most about this product or service?” or “what one thing could we do for this colleague or customer to feel more loved and cared for?” or “what one thing can you each do to bring more love to this team?” Ignite the love this festive season and watch the pleasure grow and the people glow!
Wishing you much festive fun and an extra big holiday helping of love to you all from
The 4D team