There’s a fairly popular book that’s often referenced in personal conversations, called The Five Love Languages. Chances are you’ve read it, or have at least heard of it. It offers an interesting perspective on how different people show and receive love.
The concept centers around five different types of languages:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
Each of us has a primary language that we show our love for others with, and a primary language how we feel love from others.
For example, you might think that you’re making someone feel appreciated by buying them a coffee. In that case, gifts is the language you use to show love.
However, if the person you bought the coffee for feels love by receiving words of affirmation instead of gifts, your coffee gesture, although nice, didn’t really impact that person in the way you had hoped.
So what does this have to do with business?
Well, believe it or not, it can actually have quite the impact on the way you interact with your team and your clients. What makes one person feel appreciated, doesn’t necessarily make another person feel the same way. You have to be able to adjust your style for the specific individual in order for them to feel appreciated. Otherwise you may find yourself interacting, but you may not actually be connecting with the individual in a meaningful way to them.
For starters, it helps to recognize what your own language is for showing and receiving love. This will help you identify which people your communication style aligns with, and which people you’ll have to stretch outside of your natural tendencies for. You can take the free assessment here.
Once you’re aware that we all connect and communicate differently, it’s much easier to adjust your style to meet the needs of others. It’s a simple shift you can make in the way you interact with your team and it can have a lasting impact on the engagement of your employees.
People don’t leave jobs. They leave managers.
I spent some time in HR as a Director of Employee Engagement and I can tell you first-hand that I’ve watched tremendously talented people quit a job they loved because they didn’t feel appreciated by their manager or the company. The sad part is that in a lot of cases the manager had no idea that the employee didn’t feel valued.
This is avoidable!
Understanding and applying the five love languages to your business will help you be more effective in the way you incentivize and interact with people.
If you’re having a hard time identifying ways to adjust your style, I’ve created a simple cheat sheet for you with thought-starters on actions you can take to start making an impact in your business relationships today.
[image of cheat sheet]
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If you’ve tried this out with your team, I’d love to hear your ideas and stories in the comments below!
As always, dream big!