I recently met a high-profile client for coffee in downtown Seattle. On my way I stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up a nice leather journal for him. The reason… His emotional love language is gifts of appreciation.
Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, writes about the importance of being able to express love to your spouse in a way that they can understand. He calls this type of communicating using the five love languages.
I have applied those same "love languages" to those I work with and have seen incredible relationship strengthening results.
Leadership Question: How would your relational world change, your team transform, or your business grow if you applied Chapman's Five Love Languages?
- Words of Affirmation - This is when you speak intentional affirming words that build people's self image and personal confidence. Receiving words of affirmation is a very common love language.
- Quality Time - Scheduling "one-on-one" quality time free of distractions. Focusing on their challenges and opportunities. Often a great question is – "Share a professional and personal high/low in the last 30 days."
- Gifts - It is universal in human cultures to give gifts. They don't have to be expensive to send a powerful message of care and value. Very few people are ever recognize their client's or co-worker's birthdays, anniversaries, or children's accomplishments. An acknowledgement of a milestone through a small gift can be very powerful.
- Acts of Service - Discovering how you can best do something for your family, key team members, and clients requires a little thought and creativity. These acts of service need to be done with joy in order to be perceived as a gift of love and appreciation.
- Physical / Emotional Touch - Physical touch applies great for a spouse. As a leader, let's focus on the love language of emotional touch. Making emotional connections through asking how someone is feeling, what they care about, and how you can best serve them allows them to feel greatly supported.
Because leaders are often action oriented, speaking someone's love language probably won't be natural at first. But, as Dr. Chapman says, "We are not talking comfort. We are talking love. Love and appreciation is something we do for someone else."
I have found that in today's mad-rush culture, taking a little extra time to discover someone's love language can transform personal relationships, personal influence, and bottom line results and loyalty.
Take a little time to fill up someone's love tank this week and watch your world change!
*Special thanks: Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at: email@example.com or call: (425) 681-9871