Finding your love language in the workplace

So, we know there’s a love language that each of us oozes of, and if you didn’t know this, now you do! But is there a love language we can connect with, in the workplace as we would with a partner at home?

Just like understanding your partner’s preferred love language, what if you knew your co-worker’s preferred way of working and communicating? Would this not improve our relationships within the workplace and therefore have a direct impact on the quality of work we produce? Happy wife, happy life – And this time we’re referring to your work wife.

What if, every time a new team member joined the team, we had a meeting that harmonized and streamlined how we communicate and how best to take care of business according to the business love language we each host.

The five love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.

Let’s unpack those and see how this can be incorporated into our workplace:

Words of affirmation | Feedback and Mentoring

How to constructively give and receive feedback in the workplace is right up at the top of the ranks of creating a harmonized workplace for us all to thrive in. Every person that you collaborate with has that one thing that really matters to them, and it needs to be expressed in just the right way for it to “count” — glorified praise and ringing of the bell for some, a simple word of thanks for others. Let’s see what works for each of us and try to practice this as often as we can.

Acts of service | Support

This is exactly what it sounds like, it’s doing something nice for someone else without them having to ask. It’s automatically grabbing your co-worker their favourite coffee when you go on a coffee run in the morning or making them a cuppa after a long day before going home, it could be finding a charger port for your colleague to use while he sets up for a presentation. Taking a minute out of your day to give someone a hand makes you a better teammate. A kind act rarely goes unnoticed.

Receiving gifts | New opportunities and challenges

Maybe someone is trying to improve their sales skills or payroll knowledge, and you can tell they’re putting in the effort. They are reading the books, doing short courses and engaging with the right departments to learn more. Acknowledge this teammate/employee and impart any skills you may have that could better them. Leave a sticky note on their desk saying “Well Done for nailing that new skill’ or leave a flower from the garden on their desk to say that they’re doing a great job!

Quality time | Workplace bonding

This is usually just as important in the office as it is at home with your partner. The amount of time we spend at work and with our co-workers sums up a large part of our work week, we need to check in on our colleagues often. Whether this is in the kitchen while heating up your lunch, at the printer while waiting for print material or in the board room 10 minutes before a team meeting. “How are you?” is the simple gesture that can open up a new side to a workplace bestie you never knew you had walking around the office. The sounding board you need away from home.

Physical touch | Encouraging touchpoints

This is a ‘touchy’ one as it’s usually frowned upon and not appropriate for the office, however, a high five, fist bump, thumbs up or an elbow tap will suffice too. As human beings, we rely on human connection, in any form. Showing an Employee or client a form of appreciation will go a long way. Being recognised for making a difference will go even further.

So, how do you know which language to choose for yourself? Everyone’s different, so the key is finding out which type of attention makes your colleagues and clients feel most valued. It’s not always clear at first but listen and watch for what each person responds to over time. Do they often speak about the giveaways/incentives, frequently ask to have in-person meetings, or spread the word about your exceptional level of service? Also pay attention to how people treat you—often, they will give love in the same way they want to receive it.

With a little effort, you’ll learn—and you’ll know just how to ensure a long, happy relationship. So, let’s all find our business love language and make this month of love all about recognition and appreciation in the workplace one employee at a time.