Book Report for Leaders – The 5 Languages of Appreciation

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I will celebrate that with you by sharing a book report about the translation of The Five Love Languages into the workplace.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White

I read something good, and I want to share it with you. It’s a quick read. It’s a good read, and it’s very effective in building self-awareness and relationships with others. It’s called The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages, and this is an adaptation for the workplace.

The first thing you learn in the book is why “thank you”—just plain old “thank you”—doesn’t cut it. “Thank you” needs to come with specificity, and you need to talk other people’s language when you provide appreciation affirmation.

There are five love languages that have been translated into five languages of appreciation. The first one is Words of Affirmation. This is my appreciation language. I like to hear words that tell me why my work or why something about me is appreciated. I like to know that I’m making a difference.

Other people appreciate Quality Time. This is spending time with someone and giving them your full attention and presence. This helps some people feel more appreciated.

The third one is Acts of Service. This is a big one. Are you going to pitch in and help people with something? Some people feel more appreciated in this way.

Another one is Tangible Gifts. These are things such as Starbucks gift cards, a night out on the town, or prizes. Sometimes organizations, to make things easier, think people are motivated by big gifts. They’ll do a contest and offer drawings for big prizes, but not everyone is motivated by that.

The fifth language is physical touch. Now, that’s a place you’ll need to tread carefully. But the other four are pretty significant and easy to do in the workplace.

Generally, we have a tendency to use one of languages more than the others, and so the book helps you figure out when to use which language and with whom. There’s even a link to a free assessment that’s been put together by the authors as part of their motivation by appreciation program. I’ve found it quite helpful.

I also like how the book gets practical. There’s a chapter called, “What If You Don’t Actually Appreciate Your Team Members,” how do you show appreciation then? And also a chapter about overcoming challenges—why it’s hard to do this, why it can be uncomfortable, and situations where it doesn’t work.

Again, this is a good, quick read. You’ll understand how you may accidently be overusing one of the languages and ignoring others—I think that might be the biggest takeaway for most people. The way you show appreciation to others might be the way that you like being appreciated, rather than how others might appreciate it.

So, The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. It’s one of my new favorite reads. I’ve been referring it to people, and I think it’s very practical and very helpful to keep things positive and productive. And you know I love both of those things.

Thanks very much for watching. The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Check it out.

Alan Feirer

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