The importance of adopting a loving attitude towards stakeholders
By Dr. Bruno Roque Cignacco
September 16 2019 - In the business environment, love is commonly seen as a feeling totally alien to the
cultures of most organisations. Some renowned authors have even observed that love could undermine important business variables
or Key Performance Indicators (e.g., productivity, quality levels, competitiveness, efficiency, etc.). Most companies focus on
improving these indicators, instead of centring on love. It is important to pinpoint that these indicators are always the
result of the interactions of an organisation and its internal and external stakeholders.
Therefore, when a company adopts a loving attitude toward its stakeholders, these indicators tend to improve
naturally. An organisation with a loving attitude develops continuous goodwill and mutually beneficial relationships with all
its relevant stakeholders; this company is more likely to succeed in the business arena.
Stakeholders are individuals and organisations with an interest in the company; they can be external (e.g.,
suppliers, intermediaries, competitors, communities, media, government, etc.) or internal (management and the rest of the
employees). All stakeholders have their distinctive objectives and agendas. A company which develops beneficial relationships
with its stakeholders is more likely to be supported by them when needed. When a company acts in a considerate manner with
stakeholders, they tend to respond in a reciprocal manner.
In order to strengthen its bonds with its stakeholders, an organisation should identify their distinct needs
and expectations in order to cater for them in the most effective way. Some specific tools (e.g., meetings, open telephone
lines, emails, surveys, focus groups, etc.) can be used to discover stakeholders' specific interests. A company should always
take into account stakeholders' unique needs when it develops its strategies and makes relevant business decisions. When a
company continually cares for its stakeholders, its public image tends to improve significantly.
When a company adopts a loving attitude, all its activities (e.g., buying, selling, developing, and launching
new products, etc.) are based on the development of mutually beneficial relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
Strong relationships with stakeholders are always a relevant source of power, which gives an organisation an edge in the
A company with a loving attitude performs business activities which do not benefit some stakeholders at the
expense of others. This type of organisation, for instance, offers quality products to customers, pays good salaries to
employees, develops fair agreements with suppliers and also adopts a caring attitude for the environment. In this case the
company cares for the well-being of all its stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, and community); no stakeholder is
considered more valuable than the others.
A person with this loving attitude focuses mostly on the good qualities of others. This love is kind, forgiving,
inclusive, grateful, generous, compassionate, caring, and supportive. This love is also trusting, non-judgemental and
undemanding. People with a loving attitude toward others can connect to the human side of each person inside and outside an
organisation. When people working for a company adopt this loving attitude toward all stakeholders, the latter are more prone
to feel acknowledged, recognised, and appreciated. Consequently, a loving attitude creates an atmosphere of deeper communion
among people, which in turn improves business activities in a more effortless fashion.
A very important aspect of a loving attitude is affection. When people are truly affectionate with others,
they relate to them in a respectful and caring manner. A loving person avoids any negative form when addressing others (e.g.,
slandering, gossiping, criticising, guilt-tripping, etc.), but makes continuous and supportive comments to them, especially
when they go through challenging times.
A loving person makes others feel at peace with themselves and in their own skins, which also makes them more
co-operative and easier to deal with. On the contrary, when people are not treated lovingly, they are very prone to behave in
an anxious, restless, scared, and even aggressive manner.
When a company adopts a loving attitude toward others, its conflicts with them are handled in a more peaceful
and conciliatory fashion. A loving attitude helps people considers the interests of everyone involved in a conflicting situation.
Loving people are more open to consider diverse perspectives on a topic, as these views enrich its discussion and
An interesting question for self-reflection is: "How can I adopt a more loving attitude towards our stakeholders?"
This is an excerpt from the book "The Art of Compassionate Business: Main Principles for the Human-Oriented
Enterprise" (2019, Routledge - Productivity Press). This book can be found here www.bit.ly/2MAkr4k