People give and receive recognition differently. Knowing the five love languages and how to use them can be the secret to good romantic and work relationships.
Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation is a love language that involves saying supportive things without being asked. Acknowledging and praising someone's efforts, complimenting their strengths, and being verbally supportive are all words of affirmation. When you speak negatively to someone whose love language is words of affirmation, it is especially hurtful. People who need words of affirmation thrive on compassion, encouragement, and positivity.
Acts of Service
The Acts of Service love language means doing things to relieve someone of stress or responsibility. If this is shmoopie's primary love language, find out what's weighing shmoopie down and simply say "Let me do that for you." If you drop the ball or appear to be lazy, they'll interpret that as disregard. But when you actually do it and follow through, acts of service will mean the world to them.
People who need words of affirmation thrive on compassion, encouragement, and positivity.
The Quality Time love language says "I love you" by giving full, undivided attention. They like you to be present with them—without TV, comic books, newspapers, or reading while you spend time together. Not even smartphones or Facebook. When you are distracted or you don't listen, it hurts Quality Time shmoopies. Thanks to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, shmoopies who need quality time are becoming despondent. Give them time alone together, and make it just about the two of you.
Some shmoopies give and receive love through gifts. They might be thank you gifts, or they might be a different kind of gift. You know that ad that says "diamonds are a shmoopie's best friend?" Well, even aside from the slave labor used to produce blood diamonds and finance insurgents and invaders in third world countries, it turns out that some shmoopies recognize love through gifts. Forget a birthday gift or give a thoughtless gift, and shmoopie feels abandoned. But give shmoopie a thoughtful, enduring gift, and it's love all the way!
These four love languages work in business, as well as in personal lives. If a colleague or employee values acts of service, then show them appreciation by doing them a favor or lightening their load. If they value quality time, collaborate with them on a project. Words of affirmation? Make sure to praise their accomplishments. It's worth taking the time to ask someone how they receive appreciation, so when you show them recognition, you can do so in a way they'll understand.
This is really important. I've seen many examples of companies that try to show appreciation for valuable employees, and they use the wrong language. The employee values verbal recognition, and they get tickets to a badminton match instead. Or they love sports and get a nice Rubik's Cube paperweight gift. Know the right language to use and you'll send the message you intend.
The final love language is one that really isn't appropriate for the workplace. It's physical touch. The Physical Touch love language isn't necessarily about sex; it's about hugs, back pats, holding hands, and other forms of physical affection. The Physical Touch shmoopie sends and recognizes love through physical contact. Harsh touch or lack of touch will be experienced as rejection, while positive touch will help shmoopie feel secure and like he or she belongs. A massage gift certificate, for example, might be a socially acceptable thank you gift for a physical touch person.
The Top Two Matter
Head on over to http://5lovelanguages.com and take the mini-survey to find out your love languages, in order of importance. Your top two love languages are the ones you naturally use to express and recognize love. Find out shmoopie's love languages. Find out your coworkers' love languages. Find out everyone's love languages. Then, when you want to make them feel bad, send them love in the wrong languages. Send an Acts of Service person a Gift. One that requires a lot of maintenance, like a plant. They'll love that—bwah hah hah hah hah! When you want them to feel good, however, use their love language. They'll love you for it, and hopefully, they'll even express it in a way you understand. For love is a many-splendored thing, and saying "I love you" or "I appreciate you" has many-splendored ways of expression..
This is Stever Robbins. Follow Get-It-Done Guy on Twitter and Facebook. I help high achievers live extraordinary lives in business, entrepreneurship, or the social arena. If you want to know more, visit http://SteverRobbins.com.
Work Less, Do More, and Have a Great Life!
Love image courtesy of Shutterstock.