There’s a great book by Gary Chapman and Paul White called The Five Love Languages at Work. It’s based on Chapman’s work about how we each give and receive appreciation differently. He’s got iterations of the book for couples, teens and one for those of us seeking to do a better job at work.
The five languages include: Words of Appreciation, Quality Time, Physical Touch (tough one to do at work, but think fist bumps and high fives), Acts of Service and Gifts. There’s an online assessment worth your time to learn more here.
I hired Dr. White to work with a group of CEOs I facilitate a few years ago. It was worthwhile. I found out my closest friends, loved ones and family are all Words of Appreciation people. I am an Acts of Service person – this means I may not tell them often enough how amazing they are, and they may not do things to help enough. They may be cheering me on with no one listening and I may be doing things with and for them with little recognition. No one feels appreciated the way it fits best.
Too often, we are giving and receiving appreciation, affirmation, and acknowledgement in the way we’d prefer it, not necessarily the way the receiver would prefer it. When this happens, we extend ourselves for all the right reasons, but the depth and sincerity of our gratitude may not be fully felt or missed entirely. This offers a great opportunity for hurt in our relationships.
Day 23: What’s your love language? Consider taking the assessment with those around you to learn more about how you and they operate. Consider trying out the five different languages and sharing with those around you – what worked, what didn’t? Which of the languages are most comfortable and which are a stretch? Learning how to appreciate others in “their language” is a game changer.