If you’ve ever wondered why your personal relationships aren’t working, one of the best books I could recommend is The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. He succinctly explains that everyone has a different ‘love language’ in which we process how effective and fulfilling our relationships are.
To sum up, Dr. Chapman has 5 categories of Love Languages: 1. Words of Affirmation2. Acts of Service3. Receiving Gifts4. Quality Time5. Physical Touch
Each of us has a dominant language in which we interpret love and appreciation.
Often, where we can get into trouble in our relationships is when one person is ‘speaking’ one language and we are ‘speaking’ another…and we both feel like the other isn’t loving or appreciating us! Being clear on each love language you & your partner speaks and learning to demonstrate your love in ways they need, is the first step to building a stronger relationship.
So what does this have to do with your business? Well, when I read this book 7 years ago, I saw a strong connection between the concept of a ‘love language’ and communicating and showing appreciation with employees. I wondered...if we applied these same principles to our business...what wonderful changes could happen? Would I be 'heard' better? Would my staff feel more appreciated? And if both happened...WOW! My business could gain serious traction. Granted, physical touch would have to be adjusted to be appropriate for business, but all of these languages could be used very successfully in a workplace setting.
I ask you this:
How often have you worked with people who don’t seem to feel appreciated… no matter what you do and how much you pay them? How many times have you wondered how to motivate your staff when money doesn’t seem to work? And what about building a strong company culture? Where does that even begin?
I would argue that company culture could be one of the most important drivers for attracting and keeping great talent. Part of building and maintaining great talent is to know exactly how to communicate & show appreciation to your team. Click to Tweet
I’ve often said that being an entrepreneur will bring up every personal issue you have. In regards to learning how to communicate differently with your team…what comes up for you? Resistance? A lot…a little?
Having a death grip on how you've done things, even if they don’t work anymore, is making your life more difficult. Is it possible you could loosen up (just a little?) and try something new? Change is rarely comfortable, but I urge you to try it anyways…you just may surprise yourself with how easy it becomes to interact with your staff.
To get an idea of how ‘Love Languages’ work, try the free personal self test here. Although this test will be with regards to your own romantic relationships, I think it will give you a great starting point to understand how to communicate with your team members so that all parties feel appreciated and heard.
Think of how the possibilities of applying this concept to your business could create significant changes in the outcomes of your business!
In 2012, I was thrilled to see that Dr. Chapman's concepts of love languages was being incorporated into the business arena. Dr. Chapman co-authored a new book with Dr. Paul White, a psychologist, author, speaker, and consultant who makes work relationships work. Their co-creation is called The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations By Encouraging People.
Woohoo! Summer reading anyone?
The ideas in this book points to my favourite expression: work smarter, not harder. Besides, I know you’ve been looking for solutions to create a strong company culture and to motivate your team effectively. This just might be a step you need to take. At worst, you’ve spent $15 on a book and learned a different perspective...at best, you discover a whole new way of understanding, communicating & appreciating your team and they, in turn, will feel more connected, productive and loyal to your business vision.
Not a bad deal either way.