Doctor Beatrice Lukose is the founder of MindflixMedia Africa and CEO of WealthFest Africa. Beatrice believes that love is important, not only in family, but in the corporate world as well. Her passion for finding out what love truly is, led to her obtaining her PhD in Business administration in emotional intelligence and business.
Her research in love made her realise that there are four pillars to love. The first being love for yourself, the second love for others, love for what you do, and the final pillar is loving the outcome.
This seems easy to understand at first glance but love is, to a degree, a paradox. It is seemingly simple yet simultaneously complex. So what exactly is love? Why is it important? What is its significance in the corporate world?
What is love?
Love has become strange in today’s society. A person can be abusive to those around them, yet still show acts of kindness to them and feel love towards those they abuse. Love is then not an action if it were it would not be tainted by acts of abuse.
Beatrice explains that love is not an action but “love is a greater force than all of us. It is beyond us. Love is our core being, it’s who we are in our totality.” As love is who we are in our entirety it’s definition changes depending on the individual. Where we grew up, what our beliefs are, what our culture is, who we are as people, all of these aspects help us define what love is to us.
Love and individualism
When people grow up in western societies and cultures, they are brought up to be more individualistic in their actions and with our interactions. This is to the degree that they perceive love through the lens of one-on-one interactions rather than through the lens of a community, like how it is in collectivistic societies.
Beatrice was born and raised in Kenya and worked in Europe. Which means that she was able to experience a collectivistic and an individualistic society. Due to her experiences, she says that “what happens in the community has a ripple effect.” In Western societies there is no longer a connection between the individual and the community.
This lack of connection can also impact one-on-one relationships. As the second pillar of love is loving others, this does not just refer to establishing relationships with friends and people of romantic interest, but with the community as well. We want to feel a sense of belonging, yet with our individualism we cannot attain that belonging.
Love and business
This lack of belonging and connection can be felt in the corporate world or purely business relationships.
Beatrice has worked with her husband since they had gotten married, so she understands what it means to have a career and to work as a family. It was through this experience that she had learnt the importance of having a relationship with her supervisor.
“The relationship you have with your supervisor can affect how you are at home.” Beatrice explains. This correlation between how a relationship with a supervisor impacts the relationship between partners shows how important it is, as if there is disharmony in the workplace there can also be disharmony in personal relationships.
Having worked and lived in Africa and in Europe, Beatrice and her family had to overcome several cultural differences when living in Europe. In the African nations she had lived in, there was a strong sense of community and love was felt when experiencing the community. Whereas in Europe they are more distant and almost hesitant to acts of love from the community.
The reality is that expressing love in Europe is different from in Africa. What is important about this is how these cultural differences are approached. In cases where there are cultural differences in day-to-day life, especially in business, we need to be more empathetic.
With Beatrice’s supervisor there were cultural differences. But, instead of disregarding these differences or approaching these differences with a we-do-everything-here-like-this mentality, her supervisor acknowledged these differences and tried to find a middle ground. From this experience, Beatrice says that we need to “listen to people more, be more understanding, try to meet each other in the middle.”
This reinforces the importance of forming a connection between supervisors and colleagues. Being able to understand how they are when they are happy, sad, angry, what they look like when they experience these emotions, and who they are as people is important.
Establishing goals and determining a vision and mission drives a business, but the teams in that business is how the business is able to reach this. We crave connection and being a part of a workplace that understands that you are a human and not an asset. This is a form of job satisfaction. By establishing a workplace atmosphere that is a supportive environment where employees are able to form connections and feel as though they belong, can make a difference. It can make team members feel motivated to go to work and make them feel safe at work in the process, because their colleagues know them and understand who they are as people.
Having an atmosphere of love and connection in the workplace makes employees feel like they are important and not simply assets. This is especially the case when that atmosphere is created by the leaders of a business.