The language of love is universal. It can be a whispered endearment, an “I love you” written down, or love can be shared through touch or action. A little bit of effort can go a long way to show love, and taking the time to learn a few words in someone else’s native tongue can turn a cloudy day bright. The art of collaboration is coloured with love and finding the courage to show that love can open up a world of possibilities.
There are a million ways to show someone you love them. You can say it in nearly any language thanks to the Internet. Spanish, French, or Swahili, you can find the words to warm someone else’s heart. You can also show love by actually showing it. Actions often speak louder than words, and a kind gesture or a little smile can mean a lot to someone.
WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, ANYWAY?
Have you heard the song by Tina Turner? Love is much more than a ‘second-hand emotion.’ Love is what fuels collaborations and it gives us the courage to seek more, to do more, and to better ourselves. Our actions are guided by the love we have for those around us. As a leader, incorporating love into how you interact with others will enhance your relationships with coworkers, clients and customers.
Neuroscience has shown that love affects how our brains develop, too. Human infants are dependent on their caregivers for all their needs. There is an enormous amount of brain activity during the first several years of life, and evidence has shown how important a loving, nurturing environment is for young children. Babies need cuddles, smiles, and giggles. Holding a baby, snuggling, and speaking affectionately is crucial for proper brain development (Winston, 2016).
LOVING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING CAN
If you are a parent, step-parent, foster parent, or guardian, you have likely felt unconditional love bubbling up from your core. There is nothing compared to the feeling you have when your child giggles at you, or gives you a hug or says ‘I love you’ for the first time. If you have furbabies instead, that loll of the tongue or gentle nudge to cuddle will warm your heart.
But sometimes people cannot or choose not to have children or pets. It doesn’t mean that you can’t love someone. However, loving certain people can take courage, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. Loss, grief, or betrayal can make it hard to move forward, and you may shy away from sharing love with someone. 1
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Finding the courage to open your heart can be so difficult. Collaborating with others in your daily life may also be challenging if you have parts of your being closed off. Learning to relax, how to meditate, and enjoying the beauty of the world around you can help you overcome your fear. There’s so much loveliness in other humans, and you’ll miss it if you don’t let others in.
Meditation can help many face the grief and fear they feel after a loss or a great change. A loss doesn’t always mean you physically lose something. It could also be unfulfilled dreams or deeds left undone. Meditation can help heal your heart and give you the courage to keep dreaming and exploring.
LEARN TO SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’ IN MANY WAYS
You can say ‘I love you’ in so many ways. You can literally learn to say it in almost any language you want. Just a few examples include:
- Spanish: Te amo or te quiero. Te amo is usually reserved for romantic love, for that special someone.
- French: Je t’aime. If you want to be even sweeter, try je t’aime pour toujours, which means ‘I love you forever.’
- Swahili: Nakupenda or more formally ninakupenda. Native speakers usually drop the prefix ‘ni’ and use the shorter version.
- German: Ich liebe dich. Beethoven may have written a song about it, but anyone can say ‘I love you’ in German.
- Korean: Saranghae for romance and friendships and saranghaeyo for family situations.
- Scottish Gaelic: Tha gaol agam ort, or phonetically ‘ha geul akum orst.’ This one might take some practice!
While it is romantic and sweet to say ‘I love you’ in another language, love comes in many forms. It can be a gaze from your puppy, a snuggle from your cat, a giggle from your baby, or a note from your partner. Love is all around us if we only open our eyes and our hearts to see it. Your heart is more than a pump pushing blood around. It’s a direct link to your brain and all the emotions and hopes and dreams you have.
SO, WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH WORK
Love is more than a romantic feeling. It’s the desire to want to be better and do better because of someone or something else. You can love your family, your pets, your plants, your car, your job, or any of a million other things in your life. Expressing this emotion means that you care deeply about this person or animal or thing.
Many of us are afraid to love. Loss is a part of human existence, but you can’t let that fear hold you back. You can find the courage to overcome the unknown and instead embrace a new beginning. You can love your work and bring the essence of that love to your collaborations. Sharing your joy and zeal for something is infectious - in a good way!
The can change the way you think about leadership, and how love and compassion are essential. You can create an environment that allows for innovation, creativity, and successful collaborations. Love is universal, so no matter your language, you can spread the kindness and warmth of love.