Love the One You're With
I was listening to a conversation recently that discussed the importance of expressing love in theworkplace. Now, now, I’m not talking about THAT kind of love! I’m talking about a more humanistic, treat-others-the-way-you-would-want-to-be-treated, recognize-the-sacred-and-beautiful-in-each-person kind of love. As holistic practitioners we often talk about this for our patients, and the healing power of love is one of the foundational tenets of the American Holistic Medical Association. However, not every holistic practice is a place of love, friendship and comfort. We don't always save our best behavior for our family or our coworkers and so if you are working in this less friendly type of environment, let’s talk!I know what you may be thinking - love in the workplace? It sounds great but can you really have a functioning and thriving practice if you lead with love? My first (and admittedly best) answer is, why not? Love makes extremely good business sense. What in the world could be better than working in an environment where mutual respect, appreciation and gratitude are expressed on a regular basis? Wouldn’t that be a place to which people would be drawn both as employees and as customers? I know I am not alone in being able to feel the emotional energy coming off a place the moment I step through the front door. If it feels good, friendly and nurturing, then I’ll come back again and again. If it feels tense, disinterested, or hostile, I’m out the door never to return.
Yes, of course, there is a financial bottom line that has to be met in any business and that includes our healing work in the world. However, love and money are decidedly not mutually exclusive. In fact, love goes a long way toward creating a good and sustainable business model. Love will help you to retain your best workers even if you are not able to pay them their full worth. Love will hold onto clients/patients even if your office is not as fancy as the other guy down the street. With love, your patients will understand if you don’t know everything there is to know or if your office staff messes up their appointment. With love to help you create a well-functioning and upbeat environment, your business can eventually get strong enough to be able to pay that worker what they are due and with love, you will have enough returning patients to get that nicer office. You will never know everything there is to know, though, so keep the love a-flowing!
Love does not negate having healthy boundaries. In fact, healthy boundaries is a sign of an emotionally healthy kind of love. You can correct an employee’s behavior and hold them accountable without shaming them or making them feel diminished by the correction. You can have healthy boundaries with your patients as well so that you can have a life outside of your practice. Having a loving workplace does not mean having to sacrifice your needs for the needs of everyone else. It is instead a recognition that everyone, including you, deserves healthy amounts of love, forgiveness, respect, appreciation, attention, grace and kindness.
So is your practice a place of love? Do you give it out and do you get it back when you walk in the door? If it is, congratulations! You have been a player in your happy story so take a moment both to appreciate it and to pat yourself on the back. If your place of work does not feel like a place of love, then there is no time like the present to address this and see what needs to shift in your world. Bring up these concepts at the next staff meeting, start smaller conversations with individual coworkers, ask people if they would like to see the work culture change for the better, and most importantly, be the change you wish to see in your world.
I would LOVE to hear your comments, so please jump into the conversation and post your responses on the AHMA blog.