The 5 love languages in the workplace
Do you know the 5 love languages? The 5 Love Languages is a book written by Gary Chapman. The book dates back to 1992 but is still relevant today. In essence, we can express and experience love in 5 general and universally recognized ways. Everyone expresses love in a different way, but it can be reduced to one of the 5 general love languages. The 5 love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. What often goes wrong is that we give love in the way we want to receive it ourselves. When you want to express love to another, you have to do it in his or her love language. In short: you have to treat the other person the way they want to be treated. We can also apply these love languages in the work environment. Not in a romantic way, of course, but in order to achieve better communication and cooperation, which can only benefit well-being at work.
In this blog post, we discuss the 5 love languages applied in the workplace.
The 5 love languages in the workplace
Words of affirmation
Words of affirmation translated into the workplace stands for communication and more specifically appreciation, feedback and coaching/mentoring.
Communication within a work environment is already very important in itself, but when someone has words of affirmation as love language, it is important to pay extra attention to this. This way you can give a compliment more often when someone performs well. Meetings can be started with words of appreciation for the work delivered before moving on to the agenda items. When you are not satisfied with a certain result, talk about it with the person who has words of affirmation as his love language by giving feedback. Of course, you can also indicate yourself that feedback is important to you. Someone who is just starting out in a company or in a new position will appreciate it more when there is room for coaching and mentoring.
Especially for those whose love language is quality time, the work from home period has been very hard. Connection is very important for these people. The moments at the coffee machine, the brainstorming session, meetings, having lunch together, etc. People with this love language get a lot of satisfaction from this. In itself, this is very easy to incorporate. To give a few examples: Friday can become a fixed day where they have lunch together, once a month there is an afterwork, the week is started with a meeting or zoom meeting and every quarter there is a brainstorming session about the strategy and future vision of the company.
Giving gifts is possible, for example, on birthdays or special occasions. But not only material things are important. People with this love language especially benefit from being given opportunities. Of course, they themselves are also responsible for creating opportunities and eventually taking them. However, it can be in small things like giving someone the floor during a meeting or taking someone along to an important networking event.
Acts of service
This does not mean that you have to become everyone's personal assistant. What this love language is all about is seeing the other person within the working environment. When you see that someone using this love language is struggling with a certain project, you offer help. Or ask on the way to the coffee machine if you need to bring a coffee. Just saying "if you need help, let me know" is of great value to these people.
This love language is, of course, difficult to use in a professional context, although an encouraging pat on the back may be appropriate. Here, it is mainly about empowerment, and therefore more of an emotional touch. A heartfelt "you can do this", a sign of encouragement when the person starts a presentation, an applause or opening a bottle of champagne during a victory are some examples.
Of course, it is not easy to take all these love languages into account on an individual level. A good start would therefore be to devote attention to each love language throughout the week within the organisation.