When counselling couples in conflict I often use the 5 Love Languages developed by Dr Gary Chapman in 1995.
Knowing how you give and receive love is very important. For example if are a physical touch person and your spouse rarely hugs you then you are going to feel unloved. Conversely if all you ever do is hug your spouse and their love language is words of affirmation they will think you don’t love them as all you ever want to do is hug them rather than affirming them.
According to Chapman, the desire to be loved is our deepest human desire, and one that is often left unmet due to the differences in the way we express and receive love. He explains that in order for us to feel as though our deep-seated need for love is met, the love we receive must make sense to us. He has transferred this research into the workplace and calls them the 5 Languages of Appreciation:
- Words of Affirmation – uses words to affirm people
- Acts of Service – actions speak louder than words
- Receiving Gifts – people like things to feel appreciated
- Quality Time – giving someone undivided attention
- Physical Touch – appropriate touch (pats on the back)
If we appreciate our staff and co-workers the way that they like to be appreciated then it is very likely that they will be more productive as they will feel appreciated and valued.
Imagine a workplace culture where everyone encourages each other in a way that they get/likes!
However there is no one size fits all approach as we are all different. But that is how most workplaces are run. I once worked at a workplace where we celebrated everyone’s birthday with a cake which was nice but it was always done at the last moment – what message did that send?
Curious about your love language? Do the test.
For more info.
10 easy ways to express your appreciation to anyone.
This article is adapted from http://blog.15five.com/what-the-5-love-languages/ retrieved 7th June 2015.
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