Is There a Role For Love In Business?

Recently there was a study reported in that shared a study from France. There are two aspects of the study I find interesting. One is how our choice of words has an impact on the outcome of our communications. (I’ve talked about that before).  The other is the specific word choices made for the study. In particular the power of love. (Queue “Huey Lewis”)

Today I want to explore the words that were chosen for this study; Love versus Helping. The researchers placed donation boxes around the city and stated the cause they were raising money for. They then inserted one of two texts.

  • Donating = Loving
  • Donating = Helping

The Donating = Loving collected almost twice as much as the other. This suggests that we as humans have an inherent desire to be loving and to be seen as loving. So what does this have to do with business?

Years ago, I read a book called “Love is the Killer App” by Tim Sanders. In this book he shared how we tend to do business with people that we like. In particular he points out that when we genuinely care and express our “love” for each other; remarkable things can happen for us in business. Introductions get made, referrals appear, and people want to do business with you because they are “feeling the love”.

When we interview new managers and leaders and ask them what they feel are the most important traits many will tell you things like:

  • Being strong
  • Following the rules
  • Don’t show emotion
  • Be rational

And yet when you ask people who they want to follow they want to follow people that:

  • Care about them
  • Show emotion
  • Will bend the rules to do what’s right

When we combine our intentions with well chosen words we can achieve remarkable things.

  • Are you “making a killing” or are you “serving lots of people”?
  • What are your word choices telling your people?

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