An Excerpt From “The Amare Wave: Uplifting Business by Putting Love to Work”
The Amare Wave is about making business better by putting love, or “amare,” to work. It repositions business as a powerful force for good, and shows a different way to prosper, based in the power of love. Through the seven timeless principles of the Amare Way philosophy, the ABCs of the Amare Way practice -- authenticity, belonging, and collaboration -- and numerous stories, reflective activities, and concrete action steps, people will emerge with the courage and know-how to transform themselves, and grow their organization into its best.
The first Amare Way principle is simple: Treat One Another Well. While this encompasses the age-old Golden Rule, it goes further by requiring empathy and compassion.
Compassion is the understanding, connection, and feeling of caring we have for the suffering of others. It has also been defined as “holding space for anything, without judgment.” Compassion creates happiness too. As the Dalai Lama said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt has shown that in the work- place, feeling uplifted through compassionate acts—a state of being he calls elevation—leads to greater loyalty. When leaders were compassionate, their employees were uplifted, which in turn led employees to feel greater loyalty toward the compassionate leader, and to act more compassionately to other employees, as well as to customers.
In business settings, there is a long history of characterizing “soft skills” like empathy and compassion as signs of weakness, of being feminine, or of not being tough. In short, for many years, the prevailing ethos was that these practices don’t belong in business and that they hurt profitability. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
Based on the law of reciprocity and the science of human behavior (or the notion of karma, if you prefer), you will reap benefits from treating others well—because when you are good to others, they are more likely to be good to you. It’s not only human nature, but it’s a survival instinct in our highly social, interdependent world.
Here is what treating one another well looks like in relation to business:
Put yourself in others’ shoes: Ask yourself how you would react if what you did or said to a colleague or customer was being done or said to you—if you were in their position.
This is empathy at work.
Filter your words: Before you speak, submit your words to what some call the three gates of speech. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
Slow down: In tough situations, take a breath—actually stop long enough to breathe in and breathe out—before you react. This helps you ground yourself and find compassion.
Tune in: If you sense misalignment, harshness, incivility, or lack of respect for others, acknowledge it, apologize if appropriate, and reframe things to better honor the other person’s humanity.
Offer compassion: If a colleague or customer is going through a rough time, rather than merely seeing their problem as a disruptor to business, show them you care by asking what’s going on, expressing kind words, or offering some one-on-one time.
Remember amare: Keep top of mind the meaning of amare that is “being grounded in a desire to better each other’s well-being.” This sets the stage for treating others well in business and life.
As you can imagine, adopting this one simple idea of the Amare Way philosophy, and sincerely putting it to work, can dramatically change your business. The Amare Wave: Uplifting Business by Putting Love to Work is available at Amazon.com.
DR. MOSHE ENGELBERG inspires businesses worldwide to be their best by thinking different, acting courageously, and leading with love. His innovative ideas and approaches are deeply rooted in a combination of applied behavioral science and diverse wisdom traditions, tested and refined through almost three decades of consulting with world-class organizations. As founder and head of the business strategy consultancy ResearchWorks, his clients include global health and technology companies, federal and state government agencies, large and small nonprofits, foundations, and startups.
Moshe is a teacher at heart who helps others find the deep knowledge and truth they hold within. His extensive academic credentials include a PhD from Stanford University in Communication, and Masters degrees in both Psychology and Public Health. He has published numerous research papers, and designed and taught many executive education and graduate-level courses. As a speaker, Moshe consistently delights and inspires audiences with his innovative thinking, open heart, dry wit, and practical “how-to” tips and techniques.
The Amare Wave converges lessons Moshe learned through years of consulting with a wide array of businesses, mentoring executives, teaching, and his own spiritual journey. His next book in the Amare Way series, Riding the Amare Wave: Inspired Stories of Leading with Love, is in the works.