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Earlier this year, I launched a series to amplify the importance of bringing ‘humanity’ to our workplace with a challenge to be ‘more human’ which birthed this newsletter. This month, let’s take it further on LOVING people and the work you do which I define as working with your heart.

I will begin with my favorite quote by Max Lucado –  “Love like there is no tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes, love again”. Love is not a word you often hear in the workplace. Especially when we decide to relate as ‘colleagues’ and ‘groups’. However, love is a word you should use in any place where humans co-exist because it is the basis of humanity – to care about another. It’s no wonder that the pose for this year’s #InternationalWomen’sDay celebration with the theme of #inspiringinclusion is not a hug, a hat, or anything else than a HEART, closely symbolizing LOVE. Nothing can break us apart when we decide to love one another.

I like the words of Samuel Yaw Akomea that ‘when you go to work without your heart, you are not different from a slave”. The difference between an employee and a slave is how they work, for employees is based on free will, and for slaves, it’s forced. Employment is a relationship between two parties with mutual interests. Like every other kind, it’s a choice and requires hard work to make it work. Each time you accept an offer, you accept the company’s proposal. It’s like we said “Do you want to work with me?” and you say “Yes, I do”

As I have been advocating kindness at the workplace, you can guess I’m not going to focus on how you seek your needs to be met but on the other side, how you meet other people’s needs. Hence, here are 6 deductions to help you understand how love works in the workplace.  

1. Where you work is a decision. If you decide to stay, make it bloom.

I have seen top performers display counterproductive behaviours out of unmet expectations, personal crises, and sometimes anger. In love and kindness, forgive others when they fail, even your leaders.

2. Everybody does not need to be your friend, but everyone should be your teammate.

I think the whole idea of the workplace as a family is a sharp contrast from reality. We are not called to be families and it’s not ‘necessary’ to be everybody’s friend. Once in a blue moon, we may come across those great people whom we relate so closely with that a friendship is born but the overarching goal is to be a TEAM. Fix the issues of life and make good use of the opportunity to influence another but don’t lose your integrity in the process.

This understanding is crucial for managing your emotions better, disagreeing healthily, and respecting personal spaces. Love and kindness are universal demands for everyone not only family and friends. Your colleagues are your teammates, which increases the tendency for them to be your friends but it’s not the same and doesn’t have to be.

3. You may not like everyone you work with. It’s not because they are mean, it’s because you do not fully understand them. So whatever the case, make everyone feel loved as much as within your power.

4. Choose to brighten your little corner. Just maybe, you are called to impact others more than you think.

5. The most engaged places had more friends than co-workers. When friendship calls, do not be afraid to pick up.

6. Love is the ultimate character form. The closer you are to being unconditionally loving, the more human and better as a person you are.  

In conclusion, I believe that when we choose to work for the most dutiful sense of it, we miss the opportunity to build a lasting impact. Everyone at the workplace speaks a different love language which spells out how they want to be appreciated. Find it and use it.

Achieving results at the expense of breaking people or relationships never wins in the long run. You would find people with different work styles, different backgrounds, and different priorities but the joy of this relationship is that we share at least one similarity besides being all humans, we have the same corporate vision.

For as long as you remain in the workplace, let the people you work with and the work you do stay close to your heart. To me, this is how we inspire inclusion, by opening our hearts to the different people at our place of work.

Happy IWD, humans:)

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