Saying “I love you” at Work -Is my internalGPS Malfunctioning?

I joined a conference call recently and heard the end of a conversation with, “I love you.” This would not be a shock if it were a call with friends or family or even some Coaches…But, this was a guy I was working with as part of my consulting for a large Aerospace corporation; it was disconcerting! He heard me beep on and said, “Saying I love you is a really quick way to get them off the call” and laughed. This was an interesting technique and it really made me think.

Why do we have such a strong separation of love and business? The whole movement of more engagement at work is really about putting more of your heart and love into your work. And yet we really avoid any talk of love in the corporate hallways and at smaller businesses too. When I Coach leaders in business I work with them on breaking down some of this compartmentalization of how they are at work versus how they are at home. Leaders fear that appearing too loving or vulnerable will make them weak, when in fact it makes them stronger leaders.

I love how Steve Farber, CEO of Extreme Leadership, speaks about love in the workplace, here is a statement from his website about “Cultivating Love,”

“The emotion of love is considered to be out of place or simply inappropriate in the world of business. Many believe that good business people keep their hearts out of their work. The opposite is true. It’s the heart that brings the fire of creativity to bear on the day-to-day. It’s the heart that inspires drive, loyalty and leaps of innovative brilliance.” – Steve Farber

I was lucky to hear him speak last summer at the National Speakers Association  (NSA) conference and loved his stories of how leaders used the “L” word in business and cultivated love for better performance. I am grateful for hearing the “I love you” on that call and how it reminded me of Steve Farber’s great speech; check out his website (linked here and above) for more.

How have you shared your love at work? Please share in a comment.

photo credit: Sam Howzit via Flickr creative commons.