When it comes to using love in the workplace, our guests on this podcast literally wrote the book. Zina Sutch and Patrick Malone are the co-authors of Leading with Love and Laughter. Zina has been leading development and diversity programs in the U.S. government for 20 years. Patrick Malone spent 23 years in the Navy, serving as an officer in the medical service corps. Today, she is also a faculty member of the key executive leadership program at American University, where Patrick is the director.
Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts
- “I look for people having fun at work – laughing. If I see people in a staff meeting cracking up with each other… that’s a good team. So, why hasn’t anyone written a book about this?” [9:05] The two talk about how they decided to write a book about love, laughter, and the workplace.
- “The perspective that we had on love was that it was a mutual admiration, respect, and care for one human being to another.” [11:00] It’s important to define ‘love’ early on – there are a lot of different types of love, after all.
- “People have this false idea that having emotions in the workplace, feeling love and exuding that love for other people is a weakness.” [13:50] This isn’t true, as Zina says: “But the exact opposite is true: When you are so confident in yourself, in who you are, you know yourself well enough to know boundaries, to know what is right and wrong, how to approach people, what love feels like to you, what it should feel like to others, then you become the strongest person in the room.” [14:05]
- If you think you’re a leader, and you look over your shoulder and no one is following you… you’re just taking a walk. This happens at all levels of an organization.
- The science backs up Zina and Patrick’s book. According to research from Microsoft, the single most important factor for organization success and mission accomplishment is psychological safety. Check out the book for more deep-dives into the science of love and laughter in the workplace.
- “Laughter in the workplace, people think ‘OK, I’m going to be a joke teller’. But that’s not what it is at all. It’s much deeper than that.” [29:50] If you can develop environments where people feel free to laugh and love one another, you’re on the right path.
- If you walk into the room and everyone stops talking, there’s a problem. It’s important that your presence in the workplace breeds positivity and good feelings: or, love and laughter in other words.
- Love starts with self, as Zina says. Everyone, from the bottom of the corporate ladder to the very top, should focus on loving themselves. That’s how you really begin to love others. Take time out of your day to self-analysis, and determine what ‘self love’ means for you.
- Small, one-on-one interactions create love. “Don’t make it about work,” [41:24] as Patrick says. Ask your employees or coworkers about their lives, about what’s going on with them. That’s how you create real, authentic connections.
Mentioned in this episode:
Don’t Forget to Subscribe!
What’s Your Reaction?
We really love feedback! Continue the conversation by using #LoveInActionPodcast to comment on this episode. Or send Marcel a note and let him know what you thought of this episode. Also, please click here to give us a quick review on iTunes!
Now Accepting Podcast Sponsors
As we challenge current management thinking and practices and build skills around human leadership and human-centered work cultures, we would be delighted to accept your sponsorship for future episodes. If interested, contact Marcel.