The workplace is one of the most complex places on earth. At the workplace are people from different backgrounds that need to work together to get things done. These people are of a different gender, age, religion, education, race etc. In working together, people are expected to put aside their differences and work as one for a common purpose. Unfortunately, that is not easy and as such, smart companies have to be intentional about creating a work environment where everyone feels like somebody. I believe that at the core of such an environment is the ability to spread some love at the workplace.
Love is widely misunderstood. It is no wonder that spreading love at the workplace may sound absurd to some. Generally, love refers to how we feel about something or someone. Do you love your job? Do you love your customers? Do you care about your colleagues? Workplace love in its basic form is seen in how we identify with our organizations, our commitment to our jobs, our passion for what we do, our kindness, the friendliness, courtesy, and the caring attitude we demonstrate to each other, our concern for the good of one another as well as our interpersonal skills. Spreading love every day facilitates interpersonal relationships making it easier for us to work with one another. When contrasted with hate, love maybe easier to understand. By identifying what is not love we can start to appreciate the need to spread love at the workplace. Having ill feelings about our organization or managers for example makes it difficult for us to reach our full potential at the workplace.
Many of us are aware that there are different forms. The ancient Greek philosophers for example identified five forms of love namely familial love (Storge), friendly love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Others have classified love in different forms. Borrowing from the ancient Greek philosophers, I consider Philia and Xenia love to be crucial at the workplace. On one hand, Philia love developed by Aristotle is considered as dispassionate virtuous love that results to friendliness and loyalty and is motivated by practical reasons. On the other hand, Xenia love widely described in Greek mythology relates to the hospitality seen between guests and hosts. These two forms of love can be easily spread at the workplace making it a more conducive environment for both employees and customers.
At the workplace, we relate with our colleagues, with suppliers, partners and customers. The interpersonal relations that we establish with these groups of people are critical in working together and in the achievement of our organizational objectives. At the core of building and managing healthy and effective interpersonal relations is our ability to connect at the emotional level with others. We do so by managing our own feelings and those of others and building healthy relationships. I believe that when we spread love at the workplace, it becomes easier for both business leaders and staff to achieve more .
It is love and not hate that results to the emotional attachment seen in engaged employees and in loyal customers. Let us be intentional about spreading some Philia and Xenia love at the workplace. Will you spread some love today?
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy