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 a human being. This is great news because not only
does it mean 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 5 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 books speaks to who we are as humans and its
continued relevance is proven in the over 11 million copies the book has sold. The book basically says that we all speak a different love language and that though your partner speaking a different love language from you may leave you feeling unloved, it doesn’t mean they don’t’ love you. It just means that they might be expressing it in a way that doesn’t speak directly to you. He then helps you to understand your love language as well as your partners and ways to speak to each other.
Descriptions of the 5 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 word”
Physical Touch: “To this person, nothing speaks more
deeply than appropriate touch.”
Now, clearly these are written for relationships. I bet they did resonate
with you though, and that’s because they also speak to us as humans. Now, let’s
look at how they might help you to get ahead.
Make It Work For You
Words of Affirmation: When someone does something well tell
them. Don’t just focus on outcomes, take the opportunity to commend other
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 other and listen to
what they have to say. The key word is listen. A great way to exercise this
form of appreciation is to say to someone “Hey, I think you are really 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 hand written card with a piece of candy tucked inside.
Don’t just reserve this for when someone does something directly for you, do it
when you 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 are planning to be out of the office.
Physical Touch: Two
words: High Five. If something is really great, offer a high ten.
Get To It
Now, how will knowing these 5 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 and see if you
notice a difference in how you’re perceived at the office and also in how you
feel. The greatest part is that appreciating others, tends to make you feel good