The words “love” and “workplace” are not usually
perceived as naturally co-existing. I am not talking about
romantic love, but of the natural bonding love that can
develop between people who spend hours of the day together
in a mutual pursuit, with common goals, such as at work.
These more personal feelings do naturally exist, and can often
arise among people in the work place, yet there is no frame
of reference for them nor, any accepted language to describe
them. Nor, is there widespread understanding that such feelings
can be productive in professional or workplace environments.
Rather, these so called “softer” emotions are often thought of
as, detrimental to one’s productivity and success. Indeed, they
are usually assumed to cloud objectivity and judgment, or blunt
hard edged competitiveness–traits historically thought of as the
sure markers of success.
Nothing, however, could be farther from the truth.
Feelings of warmth, affection, and even love, towards those in
one’s workplace, whether towards one’s co-workers, bosses,
employees, or clients, have been shown to increase inner
states of well-being, which in turn enhances both creativity and
productivity. The expression of genuine warmth, and natural
affection amongst people working together facilitates a sense
of bonding and belonging. These positive qualities enhance
communication and trust, which then naturally spills over into
the vision, project, or work at hand. Conversely, working in an
environment focused on merely competing to achieve one’s goals, devoid of warmth and connection to others, can create
feelings of isolation, paranoia and stress; the very things, which
inhibit the free flow of one’s innate creativity and potential.
When people feel appreciated, they want to give more. They
feel satisfaction in knowing their contribution to the whole is
valued. They engage in work with a sense purpose connected
to a larger whole than their own narrow self-interest–qualities
known to fuel creative potential. Conversely, fear, paranoia,
and distrust close people down, curtailing access to their inner
Professional environments where love is cultivated offer
a new and radical view of the workplace, which is very much
the opposite of the currently held belief that striving to be
one’s best inherently means competing against others in a
zero-sum-game, where there is a winner who must always be
“one up” over another. People flourish when they feel part of a
whole, when their unique contribution to that whole is valued.
Collaboration bred in love is a key that can unlock success for
any business endeavor. What matters is the subtle intention
of one’s effort. If what is in one’s consciousness is to outdo
someone else in order to gain personal advantage, that hidden
intention will be felt on some level and will color the outcome,
bringing negativity into the culture. On the other hand, when a
person strives to be his or her best because of a deeper purpose
to serve the whole, borne out of feelings of love, the result will
be greater accomplishment, while at the same time bringing
positive energies to all.
Everyone flourishes in an atmosphere of love, as love is
an energy that nurtures and satisfies one’s innermost being. It
has its own innate wisdom, which always brings more positive
outcomes and constructive results, even in the face of difficult
decisions, projects or, interactions. People naturally respond
positively when they feel its inclusive and reconciling presence,
and in turn respond with increasing good will.
An article published in January 2014 in the Harvard Business
Review titled, “Employees Who Feel Love Perform Better,” by
Sigal Barsade and Olivia O’Neill states,
“Love is a not word you often hear uttered in office
hallways or conference rooms. And yet, it has a strong
influence on workplace outcomes. The more love coworkers
feel at work, the more engaged they are. (Note:
Here we’re talking about “companionate love” which
is far less intense than romantic love. Companionate
love is based on warmth, affection, and connection
rather than passion.) It may not be surprising that those
who perceive greater affection and caring from their
colleagues perform better, but few managers focus on
building an emotional culture. That’s a mistake.”
In addition, the article cited a study titled, “What’s Love Got
To Do With It?” in which emotional culture and its impact on
productivity was examined. This study, which was conducted
across seven industries, from health care to finance, showed that
employees who worked in a warm and caring culture performed better. They found that employees’ feelings of happiness were
directly correlated with greater personal productivity, which in
turn also improved client satisfaction. “Employees who felt
they worked in a loving, caring culture reported higher levels
of satisfaction and teamwork. They showed up to work more
Interestingly, the study also revealed that when allowed
to express genuine loving feelings towards others, employees
fared better at their jobs, “People who worked in a culture
where they felt free to express affection, tenderness, caring,
and compassion for one another, were more satisfied with their
jobs, committed to the organization, and accountable for their
Another survey, of more than 1,700 adults, conducted in
2012 by the American Psychological Association found similar
results, concluding that employees who consistently feel valued
and appreciated by their employers were found to put in more
significant effort on their company’s behalf. “Employees who
feel valued are more likely to report better physical and mental
health, as well as higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and
motivation, compared to those who do not feel valued by their
The above studies accurately demonstrate how powerful
the influence of love can be in the workplace, both in enhancing
the well-being of employees, as well as in the concrete positive
results that benefited their companies. However, in all cases,
the burden for creating the culture of love was placed on the
shoulders of the company itself. Yet no matter what work
environment one finds oneself in, each person has the power
to make dramatic positive changes by harnessing the power
of love. Love changes the outcome of any interaction for the
better, as it naturally reconciles disparate points of view, brings
a deeper wisdom, and reveals enlightening new perspectives.
The method I use when working with people in business
is that of Eidetic Imagery. Eidetic Imagery is a fast moving
technique that uncovers the stored mental images of one’s life.
Because it works directly with each person’s unique images,
it identifies problem areas quickly, generates positive change,
promotes insight, and brings forward the individual’s innate
powers and genius. One example follows:
A man I was working with was having difficulties with his
boss’s anxious moods, which left him feeling unsure of himself.
He worried that it was affecting his job performance. I asked
him to visualize the problem in his mind in order to see it more
clearly. I then asked him to once again see the difficulty, but
this time, to keep love in mind while doing so. This enabled
him to gain insight about how to handle the situation. The
conversation went something like this:
Q: John, see an image of your boss. What are you seeing?
A: Okay, let me think. The first image that comes to mind is of her rushing up the stairs to her office, and as she passes me she is very curt. She seems very stressed out.
Q: When you see that image, how do you feel?
A: I also feel stressed out. And it makes me anticipate that all my interactions with her will be stressful, because she is so stressed. Every time she is stressed out she gets curt, and she rushes me.
Q: Okay, now see her doing that to you. Tell me more about what happens in the image.
A: I start feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. When she rushes me like that it makes me lose my composure. I try to give her the information she wants as fast as possible, but under that pressure, when I feel so rushed, I kind of shut down and fumble. I can see that she is scattered because she is coming from a place of stress, but I can’t seem to help getting sucked into her negative energy.
Q: All right John, now place your awareness on your heart. Think for a minute about someone in your life who evokes feelings of love, who makes you feel warm in your heart. Now, keep that feeling of a warm heart in mind as you see the situation with your boss, take a moment and visualize the same situation again while keeping those warm heart feelings in your mind. What do you see in the image now?
A: My heart feels like it is rushed and beating fast.
Q: That’s fine. Now as you keep your heart in mind, see that you feel the love in it. Let yourself connect to the feeling of love within you, feelings in your heart. Keep those feelings in your mind as you see the image of your boss.
A: Well, as I do that, a shift comes over me. In the image I seem to feel more compassionate towards her when I see how stressed she is. I see myself interacting with her in a way that is gentler and calmer. When I responded to her stress from my own stressed place, she would get even more stressed. But when I keep the feeling of love in mind, I see in the image that she calms down, because I am more centered and I am coming from a place of compassion. It seems like she picks up on my loving energy and it calms her.
Q: How do you feel now seeing that?
A: More centered. If I am not reacting to her stress, if I deal with her in a way that is calm and reassuring, it has the effect of calming her down too, and I feel I can be more effective.
Q: That’s great. So what did going through this exercise do for you?
A: Well, I can see that I am very sensitive, and I react all too easily to her negative energy. And when I do that I make more mistakes. When I keep love in mind in the image, I instantly feel more centered, and I shift from reacting to her energy to feeling effective. It feels like the love in me has the power to calm her down. So instead of feeling victimized by her anxiety, I see that I have the ability to change the situation by influencing her in a positive way. As I think about it, keeping love in mind, I think it gives me more insight. For example, I see she over-cares about her job. She’s over-dedicated to it. I think that’s where a lot of her stress must be coming from, and that makes me feel compassion for her now instead of irritation.
When John’s intention towards his boss switched from fear to love, he reported back to me that the outcome of his interactions with her dramatically shifted for the better.
In every work environment, a person or group’s genuine intention
has a powerful impact on outcomes, and so the use of this
understanding can be highly effective. Thus, whether the goal is
to enhance individual well-being, or provide a sense of purpose
within a team or organization, keeping love in mind improves
personal interactions and optimizes overall productivity. Love is
like a magical elixir that can be applied to any situation because
it brings forth its own innate wisdom, which overcomes any
difficulty, because people long for what it offers—authenticity,
purity and connection.
Here is an imagery exercise that you can explore within your
own mind. It deals with a difficult situation you face at work and
shows how keeping love in mind elicits fresh solutions:
- Take a quiet moment for yourself and close your eyes. See an image in your mind of a person at work you are having a difficulty with.
- What do you see?
- How do you feel as you see the image? Allow all your feelings and bodily sensations to surface, as these will give you much more information about the situation.
- Notice what the precise nature of the difficulty is.
- Now keep love in mind. Feel the presence of love within you.
- Keeping love in mind, once again see the difficult situation in your mind’s eye. Now let the image unfold like a movie. What happens when you keep love in mind?
- Notice how keeping love in mind, brings new wisdom, relief and awareness into the situation.