Vital Statistic #1: What is your love language? We all have a language of love and getting it right may determine the success of your relationship. Gary Chapman, best-selling author of greater than two dozen books, indicates that at the heart of all relationships and marriages is the same core need – all people want to feel loved. Providing love in a way our partner can receive it is one key to a happy marriage. Outside of love relationships, providing appreciation in a way employees can receive it is essential to retention.
Chapman identifies five key languages of love/appreciation:
Words of affirmation: Verbal recognition and appreciation goes a long way if this is your primary language of love. “I love the way you do that”, “You outdid yourself” and a simple “well done”, are all examples of verbal affirmations.
Quality time: This is about spending quality time with your partner or employees. If quality time is your love language, then you want to engage in quality, interesting time with others. This can be as simple as a conversation where you are able to express your thoughts and feelings. This may also cross over into spending quality time doing something you both enjoy, whether it’s goal-driven or simply for recreation.
Receiving gifts: Some people respond well to visual symbols of love/appreciation. If this is the case for you or your partner or employees, then it is the easiest one to address. The gifts do not need to be expensive as long as they are thoughtful.
Acts of service: This can be as simple as helping with items on their to-do list. It’s important to remember it needs to be acts of service they will appreciate, not the ones you want to do. If your partner hates to sweep, then collect every last crumb rather than selecting an easier chore. In the workplace, cleaning up the coffee counter may delight the person to whom that duty usually falls.
Physical touch: Some people feel most loved when receiving physical touch. This can be as simple as a touch on the arm or a hug. It is important to understand what type of touch is the love language for your partner. In friendships and in the workplace, meaningful physical touch might include a pat on the back or a warm handshake.
Coming up: Looking into The Five Languages of Apology