Posted: 27-Jan-2014 Category: Business, Leadership, Psychology
Since the beginning of time, one topic has dominated human thought more than anything else. It has motivated the greatest pieces of literature; it has been a source of inspiration for poetry. It is in our songs, our television, our movies. It is the core of our everyday life: love.
What we know about love is intrinsic. You do not have to be a scholar. You do not need an advanced degree or specialized training. Even so, love is a topic that is often overlooked in psychology, which can only lead to limitations in any theory.
Harry Harlow understood the importance of love, which was why he looked at it so carefully in his research. To better understand the role of love, Harlow used monkeys to see how well they responded to various stimuli such as food, water and love.
In his work, Harlow noted that baby monkeys had a significant response to affection. Baby monkeys with less affectionate mothers sought comfort from other sources, such as a small cloth pad. In many cases, this attachment became so profound that when the cloth was taken away, the baby monkey would have a temper tantrum.
More than that, baby monkeys who were raised in a cage with no comfort objects had a higher mortality rate than their peers. These monkeys were still provided food and water and basic care. However, without the love of a mother, they were unable to thrive.
As an extension, Harlow even constructed a replica monkey, giving it a heating element to provide warmth. As a contrast, he also constructed a replica monkey out of wire. Both replicas were designed to give milk and feed a baby like a lactating mother. Despite the fact that all the monkeys were given milk and a mother figure, the babies still preferred the cloth mother.
Harlow even theorized that this attachment is a biological factor in the way nursing works. When an infant suckles, they are not only getting nourishment, but they are getting a deep intimacy with their mother. In Harlow’s monkeys, this bond stayed strong even after the nursing ended. In fact, when Harlow replaced the fake mothers with more lifelike ones, the baby monkeys turned the head around on the new mother so that it had no face and more closely resembled the original fake mother that it had learned to love and care about.
Harlow worked with monkeys, but humans are no different. Love is fundamental for all of us. We all crave it, and we all seek it above everything else in life.
However, it is important to remember that love is a two-way street. You want love, but you can give it as well. In fact, we would all benefit by looking at the love and affection we show others. Are we giving genuine affection? Are we created bonds that will truly last?
Now you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with business? Well, truth be told, if you are asking yourself this question, you really need to take the time and understand people and their driving motivations in life. We spend most of our lives in our professional realm, so lets control how we want to be treated and the kind of relationships we want to revolve this part of our life around.
I guarantee you this: You start caring more, loving more, have a higher sense of empathy, and your business will flourish beyond your imagination.
Therefore, be sure to recognize the love in your life, personal and professional, and always seek to give it to others. Focus on creating real bonds in your business. After all, you can offer all the best products, but without real affection, your clients will be starving for more. If you want to find loyalty among your clients, you need to start by giving them a lifelong bond they cannot ignore.