Most people are skeptical about the relevance of love at work.  Perhaps in some workplaces the topic of love is taboo. Love may suffer from an unfortunate association with old stories of inappropriate, scandalous behaviour.

I believe that when we are at our best, our work becomes an expression of love. Work is our love made visible, valuable and relevant.

Mid-way through my corporate leadership career I was fortunate to work for a wonderful leader. She was smart and kind. Savvy and playful. Commercially minded and warm-hearted. My fondest memory of our time working together was the morning when I rushed into her office, heavily pregnant and in a state of panic. I had just been informed (at a routine ultrasound appointment) that the size of my soon-to-be-born son’s head was in 95th percentile. Given my body size is somewhere around the 5th percentile, this news had conjured up all sorts of gruesome images of my lady-bits tearing in my hormone-soaked mind.

After several unsuccessful attempts at reassuring me that it would all be fine, she leapt to her feet, grabbed a maker, and drew two ovals on her whiteboard – one a fraction bigger than the other. Pointing to one oval, then the next, she said “Cassie, you are talking about the difference between this and this. Either way, it’s gonna hurt like hell”. The reason I loved her so much in that moment – and in so many other similar shared moments of laugher (and tears) over the years we worked together – was because she was so real. When it came to great leadership, she was the real-deal, and she was a natural.

Science tells us that positive emotions such as love trigger growth and support us to become better versions of ourselves. Dr Barbara Fredrickson’s ground-breaking work explores the potential-activating power of love. In her book Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become Dr Fredrickson shares her findings that love, and its absence, fundamentally alters the biochemicals in our bodies which in turn can alter the way our DNA is expressed in our cells.

Dr Fredrickson’s upgraded 2.0 definition of love describes love as micro-moments of ‘positivity resonance’ where there is the presence of three factors – shared positive emotions, biobehavioural synchronicity and a motive of mutual care.

This means that love is actually a fleeting but completely renewable emotion that can ‘blossom anytime two or more people – even strangers – connect over a shared positive emotion’.

Dr Fredrickson’s research provides a radically new concept of what love is and why it matters, and created a hugely compelling case for more fully embracing this ‘supreme emotion’ in our lives and workplaces.

She explains that ‘love nourishes your body the way the right balance of sunlight, nutrient-rich soil, and water nourishes plants and allows them to flourish. The more you experience it, the more you open up and grow, becoming wiser, and more attuned, more resilient and effective, happier and healthier.’

My hope is that in time we can talk openly in workplaces around the world about our fundamental need for love in the same way as we talk about our fundamental need for fresh air and water – without a single raised eyebrow or eye roll.


Here are a three burning questions I invite you to reflect on:

  1. How might being more open the presence of love (micro-moments of ‘positivity resonance’) uplift your working life?
  2. Is there something you need to give yourself permission for, in order to be open to experiencing love at work?
  3. What is one small step you can take to open to the presence of love at work today?


This is the great irony of belonging: that in all your searching for a home of love, it was yours to give away all along. And the real reward of your quest is to fling your doors open and let your life become a shelter of belonging for others.

Tako-pa Turner (Belonging – Remembering Ourselves Home)