Your employees have a love language. Here’s how to use it without getting sued.

The great enemy of communication is the illusion of it.
— William H. Whyte

Last week we talked about The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman and how learning and speaking them can improve the way we communicate with the people we love. And you know who else it can help?

Everyone.

Think about it. “Love” isn’t just about how you feel for your partner, your kids, or your best friend. Love is also how we share and receive appreciation, validation, respect, care, and trust. And what makes people feel that way at home is bound to make people feel that way where they spend the most time: at work.

Whether you want to impact your employees, hire A-Player talent, or impress a potential client, identifying and incorporating how a person receives information will go a long way to improving communication across the board. Think about all the ways you can “show the love” at work: high fives, email shout-outs, a box of their favorite pens, fixing their squeaky chair, and one-on-one lunches. Ever notice that these things work better on some than others? Ever wish you knew how to get through to the “tough” people? Ever want more people to treat you a certain way?

Exactly. It’s not woo-woo if it works. And it does. Keep reading.

Onward,

Bill

P.S.

I hope you take what you learned in our last post and show your partner some love on Valentine’s Day (that’s Thursday, Feb 14, for all you busy people—or every day, if you’re doing it right).

10x Your Day

Last week, we shared Dr. Chapman’s 5 Love Languages quiz. This week, think about your result, and—with an enormous grain of salt—take it through the lens of your workplace. How does your Love Language translate into the work environment? Are there ways you can help communicate that?

10x Your Week

Now that you know more about Love Languages, do you have a better sense for the people on your team? Here a few work-appropriate ideas to show how much you appreciate them.

  • Words of Affirmation: Whether in front of a crowd, one-on-one, in a company email, in a social shout-out or a handwritten note, let them know you see and appreciate their hard work. Be specific. Be genuine. Say thank you.

  • Quality Time: Time is money--and those who value quality time treat every minute like gold bullion. Take them out to lunch, stop by their office to check in, or offer to walk with them in between meetings.

  • Acts of Service: These don’t have to be grand gestures—just pay attention to their routines. Grab them a cup of coffee, offer to pick up lunch, fix the printer that frustrates them. You never know what you can do until you ask, so ask—”What can I do to help?”

  • Gift Giving: Like acts of service, it’s all about paying attention. Give them a personalized mug that no one else can use, a gift card to their favorite restaurant, or offer to give them time off (an extended lunch or late morning) if they’ve earned it.

  • Physical Touch: This is tricky in the workplace, but not impossible. Appropriate touch would be firm handshakes, fist bumps, high-fives, and pats on the back. Ask before you hug. Those who value physical contact will likely make the initial approach, so take their lead.