Review: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

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I think it’s important in the workplace (if you participate in it) to acknowledge that people work harder and are more motivated when given appreciation.

In the spirit of getting better at showing appreciation to my co-workers I was intrigued by the book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.

Without giving away the whole meat and potatoes of the book I’ll list the 5 Languages with some of my thoughts around them.

  • Words of Affirmation – Some people are very driven by verbal recognition of their work, efforts, and attitude. It can be a struggle for me to remember to encourage others in this way, but I think it’s important to do so, if for no other reason than to lift someone’s spirits.
  • Quality Time – Some people desperately crave time with their boss, co-worker, or others in the office to connect, think through ideas, or just catch up on what’s going on in the office. While this can obviously be abused by people who don’t want to do their job and rather socialize on the clock, it’s important to give people who need quality time the attention they need to feel valued and do their job well.
  • Acts of Service – Some people appreciate being helped with tasks at work, it shows you care for them. It’s important to remember that people who appreciate acts of service may still want the tasks at hand you assist with done their way, not yours. Helping in a different way than they’re used to, or at the wrong time may actually put the person behind schedule if they have to redo your work.
  • Tangible Gifts – Some people appreciate gifts that speak to them. Making sure you give an appropriate gift that the person would actually use and appreciate is a gift, a man may not appreciate tickets to a woman’s talk show for example. While gifts are appreciated don’t go overboard, or you could alienate people not receiving them at the time.
  • Physical Touch – This one is a ‘touchy’ subject, as going too far could land you in trouble. Some people do appreciate a high five, fist bump, pat on the back, or other subtle gesture showing you appreciate them, are excited to be with them, or are worried about them. Just be careful you don’t go too afar, or worse yet, use physical touch if you’re not sure how the person will take it.

Overall, I think this book is a great read for those who want to show appreciation to others in the workplace and want to understand ways people different from themselves expect to receive appreciation.

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