I was delighted to learn this question while attending Georgetown’s coaching certification program a couple of years ago. The simplicity of the question gets to the heart of choice, a choice to tap into the basis of human love and commitment for another person’s well-being, allowing love to lead what happens next. A choice where, if love was leading the way, what might it look or sound like when all is said and done?
Love orients our intentions to a place of goodwill for others and being fully present for what they might need or want from the experience. Love’s orientation opens the space, safely allowing them to discover and deepen their capacity to change and learn, even during the most difficult of conversations.
I am faced with a difficult decision – what would love do? I am in conflict with another person – what would love do? I’ll be having a difficult conversation with an employee today – what would love do? I want to coach my team to take more initiative – what would love do?
Leading by love gives us opportunity to grow, as well. It helps enhance and deepen our leadership presence. When our orientation is focused keenly on the other person – shifting our perspective from ourselves and our egos – we learn from another’s perspective and by how they come to conclusions. Love’s leading deepens the quality of the questions we ask and the guidance we provide. It changes us just as much as it changes them.
Today is Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to love. What opportunities do we have to let love lead the conversations we will be having? What choices will you make?