Love is not only appropriate at work, it’s essential. Strategy, leadership, competitive edge, systems, vision, marketing savvy, industry expertise, strong financial management, integrity, teamwork, communications, relationships – these are all elements of strong, successful businesses that endure over time. Over the past couple of years, another element has popped up in business literature, articles and books – Love.
People often think of love as warm and fuzzy. But that is just one application of love. Love is actually the most powerful, yet under-utilized force in the world. How can I say that? Because God is love.
In the HBR article “Can You Really Power an Organization with Love?” Duncan Coombe answers a resounding yes. He highlights the importance of love at work, not just because it’s a great foundation to guide us in how we treat people, but also because it supports successful teams, excellence in our products and services, and strong relationships with customers and vendors. All of this is necessary for our organizations to be successful. Love is also a key element to enjoying a well-lived life for everyone.
If you’re still unsure, be encouraged by the fact that bringing love into your work does not require that you ever speak the word from your lips. Here are some simple ways to express love in your work that can support teamwork, customer service and that ever-sought-out competitive edge.
- Seek God first. Bringing love to work means bringing God into our work. Scripture says, “Seek first the kingdom of God …” Matthew 6:33. Bringing love to work means you seek God at the beginning of the day and before every decision, every meeting, for every problem and every need. Do it today and watch the difference it makes.
- Do your work with passion and a commitment to excellence. Scripture says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23. When we do our work as if God’s our boss, we’re less likely to allow difficult interactions or disappointments to taint our attitude toward work. Working with excellence requires we go above and beyond what’s expected and when we do that, we raise the standard and contribute to establishing a competitive edge.
- Make it your goal to make each person you interact with feel important. Being intentional about listening to others, acknowledging their contributions, helping them find solutions or promote their ideas – in other words, making others feel important – not only supports the growth of your colleagues, it boosts teamwork. Romans 12:10 says, “Honor one another above yourselves.” By making others feel important, you encourage them to be their best. And when you have a team of people doing their best work, you’re sure to boost success.
If you care about people, you most likely already bring some love into your work. We all have opportunities to grow. When you’re intentional about bringing love into your work, you’ll notice a difference, not just in relationships and results, but also in how you experience your work.
For more ideas about what it looks like to bring love to work, take a look at the newest Workmatters Study,Jesus: Love at Work.