The Ancient Greeks had four words for love. Two are well known - eros (romantic love) and agape (love in a spiritual sense).
The other two are not generally as well known. There's storge, meaning natural affection like parents feel for their children.
And then there's philia. This is the one I find the most insightful for workplaces. Philia is often translated as affectionate regard or friendship. We need more philia in our organisations. It will lead to more philia in the world. And we need it right?
I find it simple (not always easy) to have affectionate regard for people because I know everyone of us is a one-of-a-kind human being. Only the hardest of heart can’t not love a one-off.
In this Harvard Business Review article The Dalai Lama speaks about warmheartedness (among many other things he believes real leaders should be). He says "The ultimate source of a happy life is warmheartedness."
Could people be more warmhearted in your workplace? It's a good starting point for bringing in more philia (love).
When there is affectionate regard or friendship in our workplaces better performance follows. Usually in my experience very, very quickly.
In Q & A sessions that follow a lot of my presentations I often break the ice by asking people what they are passionate about. The most common answer is family. I then go on and ask the following four questions:
1. What makes great families great?
2. What do great parents do?
3. What do great life-partners do?
4. What do you notice about siblings who really get along?
Whatever the answers I then ask: What would happen in your organisation tomorrow if you began to apply the principles behind your answers?
I'll leave you to answer these questions and then apply the principles behind your answers in your workplace.
Improved performance will follow your actions I promise.
Warmheartedness, philia, whatever we call it, is needed in our world right now. In short we need more love.
The opposite love is fear. The world is in the grip of fear.
“Love drives out fear” say many of the ancient texts in all sorts of ways.
“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
From the film ‘Strictly Ballroom’.
To bring more love to your workplace, and ultimately to the world requires heart leadership. Recently I stated in an article that Heart leadership is the new normal.
Who will you become?
What will you do next?