Love Languages at work and how to use them to help your business

Feb 13, 2023 | Business

Bear with me here as I talk love languages at work. I haven’t gone crazy and I’m not about to unleash or encourage a nightmare for the HR department.

The Five Love Languages was a concept developed by Gary Chapman in his 1992 book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. It has grown in popularity and experienced a resurgence in recent years.

The author explored how relationships can become stronger by understanding your own and your partner’s primary “love language”. That is, the means by which you express and receive love. At its heart, the concept is about the ways we communicate with each other – and you can apply this to work relationships as well.

So what are the 5 Love Languages?

Each of the love languages explored in the book is of equal importance. No one love language is higher than another. This is how Chapman describes the love languages.

  1. Words of Affirmation: This love language involves using words to express love, appreciation, and support. People who have this as their primary love language feel most loved when they receive compliments, encouragement, and kind words.
  2. Acts of Service: This love language involves doing things for others to show love and support. People who have this as their primary love language feel most loved when their partner helps with tasks or does something to make their life easier.
  3. Receiving Gifts: This love language involves giving and receiving gifts as a way to express love. People who have this as their primary love language feel most loved when they receive thoughtful, meaningful gifts from their partner.
  4. Quality Time: This love language involves giving someone your undivided attention and spending time together. People who have this as their primary love language feel most loved when their partner sets aside time specifically for them and focuses solely on them.
  5. Physical Touch: This love language involves physical touch to express love and affection. People who have this as their primary love language feel most loved when they receive hugs, cuddles, and other forms of physical touch from their partner.

You can see where I’m going with this in terms of work relationships. Although I’ll immediately flag a warning for number 5 that I’ll get to soon. First, you need to know what your love language is. You might know yourself well and have an idea already. Or you may be tossing up between a couple. You can take The Love Language™ Quiz to find out.

How do love languages at work actually work?

Work relationships are still relationships – they depend on communication and a variety of other factors like trust to grow and thrive. By understanding your own love language, you can be aware of your own expectations (realistic or otherwise).  And armed with this self awareness, you can approach people and situations with more clarity.

Let’s look at each of the love languages and how they apply to work situations.

  1. Words of Affirmation: In a work setting this could be the use of positive words to express appreciation and support for a work task. Eg. “I noticed you put in extra time to get that report finished. I really appreciate it.”
  2. Acts of Service: In a work setting this is about doing something to help someone else. It could be resolving a customer query quickly or it could be offering help to a colleague. Eg. “I’ve got some extra time. I can restock the shelves for you.” 
  3. Receiving Gifts: In a work setting this is about showing thanks through a gift and it doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. It could be as simple as your employer giving you the afternoon off to thank you for a big project completed.
  4. Quality Time: In a work setting this involves giving someone your undivided attention and spending time together. In a team-building context, this could mean setting aside time for team members to bond and connect with each other through a social outing.
  5. Physical Touch: In a work setting this might mean a literal pat on the back or a handshake to show appreciation for a job well done.

The benefits of Love Languages in the workplace

Knowing your own love language can help you understand what makes you feel valued and appreciated. And it can help you interact with others in a positive way. This could result in better communication with others, improved client relationships, and enhanced teamwork and collaboration. However, if you don’t know the love language of others, it may be difficult to tailor your communication and actions to their specific needs and preferences. And in fact, you should tread carefully.

In a work setting it’s important to remember boundaries. Obviously, you shouldn’t be touching others inappropriately or without consent. Likewise, gifts if given, need to be appropriate. But it’s still possible to use the concepts of the 5 love languages at work to create a positive and supportive environment. Focus on making positive and encouraging statements, offering help and support when needed, acknowledging contributions, prioritising time for team building and open communication, and demonstrating appreciation in non-physical ways.

Just as people have different ways of working, love languages represent the different ways people like to be communicated with – and the way appreciation can be shown towards them.

What type of personalities are you working with?

This blog focused on Love Languages and how knowing your own can help you navigate work relationships better. A bit of Valentine’s fun. But there’s a lot to be said for understanding how others ‘tick’. While you can’t introduce a Love Languages quiz to your staff, if you’re interested in exploring this type of psychology better, you can explore the DISC Personality test. There are free versions available online and you can also find facilitators who will come out and run workshops for you. 

The DISC model describes four main personality types:

D is for Dominance

I is for Influence

S is for Steadiness and

C is for Conscientiousness.

Everyone is a mixture of each style, but most people tend to fall into one or two main DISC styles. Knowing this information about yourself and your employees can help you get the best out of everyone and therefore further the success of your business.

Understanding your product or service is a given. But if you can uplevel and also understand the humans behind your business, you’ll be ahead of the pack.

Welcome to The Copywriting Chonicles

I love the building industry as much as I love writing. You can learn more about me here.

If you have a question about anything building related that you would like me to blog about, please drop me a quick note.

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