As we celebrate St Valentine’s Day it brings to mind Dr Gary Chapman’s theory that there are five Love Languages.
These are the different ways in which we show and receive appreciation, not just from our nearest and dearest but also from colleagues in our teams and our managers. Dr Chapman suggests that each of us favours one particular Love Language over the other four and whilst his work is focussed towards married couples, his theory can be applied in part to those leading teams.
- Time – Some of us feel most appreciated when someone gives us their time, not a specific activity, simply time to listen, talk share and be together.
- Words – Words have immense power and those people who ‘say the kindest things’ are likely to feel most loved when someone uses written or spoken words to tell them how much they are valued.
- Gifts – Despite what the advertisers would have us believe the giving of gifts is not the way to every man or woman’s heart, but it is one of the 5 Love Languages and like the others it’s most likely to be the primary Love Language in those who take great care and pride in giving gifts.
- Acts – For many of us, it is those simple acts of kindness such as a well timed cuppa or a lift home from work that can make us feel truly loved.
- Touch – Probably less appropriate than the other four Love Languages in the workplace, but in a marriage or similarly intimate relationship the importance of physical contact shouldn’t be underestimated.