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Rules of Enchantment to Bring More Romance to Work (the HR-Approved Way)

by Lynette Silva

Recognize This! – We all could use more romance at work, when we think of romance in terms of celebrating emotion, the individual, imagination, nature and spontaneity.

One of my personal career highs was the opportunity to lead a panel discussion at Work Human last month. The panelists were all authors of tremendous books on various elements of what it means to bring our humanity to work as well as how to notice and support our own human needs to bring our best selves to work every day.

Brigid Schulte, a journalist with the Washington Post and author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play When No One Has the Time was one of the panelists, along with Tim Leberecht, chief marketing officer for global architecture and design firm NBBJ and author of  The Business Romantic: Give Everything. Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself.

Following on their experience as fellow panelists, Brigid interviewed Tim for her regular Monday feature “Inspired Life.”

In the article “Bored at work? Learn to love your job again with the ‘Rules of Enchantment’,” Tim shares more about the power of bringing our more “romantic” side to work (our emotions and creativity). Please, read the full article and be inspired as I was again, but here a few of my favorite highlights (all quotations are Tim’s and emphasis in the quotations is original):

It’s time to think about romance at work in a new way.

“The way I see business is through the lens of a Romantic, which means I put a great emphasis on emotion over reason. I really embrace the beauty that comes with unexpected events, awe and wonder and unpredictability. The joy that comes from losing control and not being a master of the universe. The feeling that there’s something more meaningful and deeper in even the most mundane moments of business.”

Losing control at work is a good thing, too.

“There’s two aspects where losing control is really important. One is innovation… The other benefit of losing control is really in those macro moments of unexpected wonder and delight. So often, the most meaningful moments come from ones we didn’t expect – encounters with strangers, or something that violates our cognitive models, something happens that we didn’t expect, which makes it memorable.”

You can bring romance into your own workday.

“Do Good: We’ve seen a surge in purpose-driven businesses, the rise of conscious capitalism. That’s increasingly important for Millennials. So there’s a mainstream recognition of that. “Feel Good: Find a much more conscious and mindful way to reconcile work and life. “Feel More: Really opening up and expressing yourself with the full range of your intuition and emotion at work. That’s really what business romance allows you to do. Now, as an employee at a workplace, what does that mean? It means you start at a very, very small scale. Romance is a mindset, a choice. So, put on a romantic lens, and reframe the day to day encounters you have at work.”

Brigid tells me she was so inspired by the talks at Work Human that she’s reached out to several of the speakers to participate in “Inspired Life” columns.

Be sure to check out her interview with Shawn Achor, head of Goodthink and author of The Happiness Advantage (and recent keynote speaker at Workhuman Live) for five exercises – each taking just two minutes to complete –to immediately feel happier.

Do you need more romance in our workday? How can you do good, feel good or feel more? How has someone else helped you do better, feel better or feel more deeply?


About the Author

Lynette Silva is a principal consultant on Workhuman’s Strategy & Consulting team, partnering with clients on change strategies to make work more human.

Profile Photo of Lynette Silva Heelan