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How The Five Love Languages Can Help You In The Office

Humans Of The Office 

Your boss, your CEO, your peer, the platform engineer, and the sales analyst all have something in common. They are people. No matter who you work with, they, too, are human beings. This is excellent news because it means you have something in common it also means they all have one basic need that you can help fulfill. That is the need for recognition. Everyone wants to be recognized for their contributions! One way to get ahead at work is to understand how people want to be recognized. That is where the five love languages come in.

Five Love Languages, The Book

First, a quick overview of the Five Love Languages – Dr. Gary Chapman, a respected author, and speaker wrote The 5 Love Languages in 1995. This book speaks to who we are as humans, and its continued relevance is proven in the over 13 million copies the book has sold. The book says that we all speak a different love language. Because your partner speaks a different love language than you, your relationship and interactions may leave you feeling unloved; however, that doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It means they might be expressing it in a way that doesn’t speak directly to you. Dr. Chapman then helps you understand your love language and your partner’s love language and ways to communicate love to one another.

Descriptions of the five love languages from the book:

Words of Affirmation: “This language uses words to affirm other people.” Example: You shower your partner in verbal compliments and let them know how much you care about them through words.

Quality Time: “This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention. Example: You spend a lot of one-on-one time with the other person, whether you’re going on dates or hanging out and cooking at home together.

Receiving Gifts: “For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.” Example: You buy presents for the other person to show them that you were thinking of them and that you care.

Acts of Service: “For these people, actions speak louder than words.” Example: You wash the dishes for your partner because they had a long day at work, and you know they would love to relax when they get home rather than do chores around the house. 

Physical Touch: “To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.” Now, clearly, these are written for relationships. I bet they resonated with you. That’s because they also speak to us as humans – because regardless of the type of connection (romantic, friendship, family members), the different languages of communicating love still exist. Now, let’s look at how they might help you to get ahead in your workplace.

Make It Work For You

Words of Affirmation: When someone does something well, tell them. Don’t just focus on outcomes. Please take the opportunity to commend others through their work journey. For example, if someone is working diligently on an upcoming presentation. Tell them you appreciate their diligence.  

Quality Time: Take time to meet with others and listen to what they have to say. The keyword is LISTENing. A great way to exercise this form of appreciation is to say to someone, “Hey, I think you are great at X. I’d love to take you to coffee and chat more about how you do it.” Another key way to offer quality time is to show up, on time, to meetings. Showing up on time shows you appreciate and respect those in attendance.

Receiving Gifts: Gifting can be tricky in the office. If you keep it simple and low cost, you should not have any problems. A great gift comes in the form of a handwritten card with a piece of candy tucked inside. Don’t just reserve this for when someone does something directly for you, do it when they do anything that impresses you.

Acts of Service: Lend a helping hand. Offer your specialty to someone else, assist someone in setting up a room or help carry packages to the loading dock. Another great way to show appreciation is to offer to cover a specific task for someone if they plan to be out of the office.

Physical Touch: Two words – High Five. If something is REALLY great, offer a high ten.

Take Action

Now, how will knowing these five love languages help you to get ahead? Building relationships is key to advancement, and learning to appreciate people in a language they easily understand is key to building relationships. Give this a try for 21 days. See if you notice a difference in how you’re perceived at the office and how you feel. The greatest part is that appreciating others tends to make you feel good too.

For more advice on how to be successful in the workplace check out How To Show Kindness At Work.

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