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Yes - You Should Love Your Team

Written by: Marguerite Thibodeaux, Guest Writer Brainz Magazine

 

Leading successfully in the 21st century requires a human-centered approach and love is part of being human 24/7, not just at home. We love everything - pizza, pets, and yes, even people. Showing love at work is as simple as translating the little things we already do at home. Studies tell us that the ways in which love shows up at work - appreciation, recognition, compassion, and humanity - increase engagement, productivity, innovation, and collaboration while reducing stress, turnover, and absenteeism.



5 tips to lead with love at work


1. Ask about your team’s lives outside of work

Everyone will share different amounts, some none at all, but opening the door for the conversation acknowledges that your teammates are more than business resources. They’re people. Many leaders naturally chat with coworkers about weekend plans or holiday stories in the office. It’s easy to stop by someone’s desk or stop in the hallway for a quick chat. On a remote team, it can be just as casual. Send your teammate a quick instant message to ask how their weekend went or how they’re family is doing. Better yet, give them a quick call and go for a walk while you talk.


2. Celebrate successes

Every year, we celebrate our loved ones at home for simply existing another year, showering them with gifts, cake and terribly unharmonized renditions of “Happy Birthday”. Bring a little love to work by giving a shoutout at a team meeting for a project milestone or a new project. Better yet, celebrate work anniversaries with a few balloons and a little treat.


3. Hold space for disappointment

One way of showing loved ones we care is holding space for disappointment, and we can do that at work, too. Have to tell your rockstar they didn’t get that promotion? Have to tell an underperforming teammate that you have to put them on a performance improvement plan? As a leader, when we have to deliver tough news, we can bring love into the conversation by providing the space our teammate needs to digest the news and ask questions. Sometimes simply sitting with someone is the kindest, most loving thing we can do for them, at home or at work.


4. Invest in growth

When our loved ones are struggling, we extend patience (hopefully!). When our loved ones are learning, we listen, maybe even ask about what’s new in their class or hobby. We might offer to help them practice. At work, we can bring that same love to our team’s professional development. You can use this template to kickstart professional development conversations with your team.


5. Share about yourself

You are also more than just the reports and analysis you deliver at work. You are a person with hopes and dreams, strengths and blind spots, pet peeves and simple joys, too. Your friends know that. And your team wants to know about it, too, within the bounds of appropriateness, of course.


No one wants to take orders from a faceless robot any more than they want to share their personal lives, celebrations, or disappointments with one. Strike a balance by sharing a little of your own humanity, so your team can share theirs, bring their full self to work, and deliver their best.


Every leader deserves support. You can follow Magnanimous Leadership on LinkedIn for ongoing resources and tips, or reach out for direct support.

 

Marguerite Thibodeaux, Guest Writer Brainz Magazine

Marguerite Thibodeaux is a certified executive coach and founder of Magnanimous Leadership, an organization dedicated to supporting leaders and organizations flourish by making the science and art of leadership actionable. Marguerite was a 2019 Learning Thirty Under 30 and continues the talent transformation work that earned her that Thirty Under 30 title through Magnanimous Leadership. When she is not working, she is traveling. Since getting engaged in Antarctica and honeymooning in Africa, she has visited every continent and all but one ocean.

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