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  • Writer's pictureacoachsdiary


Updated: Mar 14

The 5 Love Languages is a theory first introduced by Gary Chapman in his book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts”.

According to Chapman, the five love languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. The theory suggests that individuals have different primary love languages, and when these love languages are fulfilled, they feel loved and valued.

Incorporating the 5 Love Languages into how you lead your teams can help you create stronger, more meaningful relationships with the people you work with and lead. When you understand and speak the love languages of team members, you can be intentional in how you show them how much you value and appreciate them, how much you truly care about them as people, and that you are dedicated to creating and delivering the best team member experience possible.


1 - Words of Affirmation: People who value this language thrive on compliments, words of encouragement, and expressions of love and appreciation. These words can be verbal or written. Make sure you are expressing to people who need words of affirmation how much you value and appreciate them, but also be as specific as possible. A generic ‘good job’ might not feel as compelling or meaningful as taking the time to compliment a certain skill set or action.

Verbal affirmations can be done in front of the team or 1-on-1 meetings. Some team members like to be recognized in public, and others like to be recognized privately.

Written affirmations, like handwritten notes, are a quick and effective way to show appreciation in a personalized way.

2 - Quality Time: This language emphasizes focused, uninterrupted time spent together. This means giving a team member your undivided attention. For your teammates who need quality time, make sure you are intentionally finding ways to connect with them, and when you do, make sure that time is uninterrupted.

Some ways you can give your time include sharing a meal or drink, going on walks during the day, holding listening sessions where you can hear their concerns or complaints, and inviting teammates to fun, off-site activities.

3 - Gifts: Gifts are a tangible symbol of value and appreciation. The value of the gift doesn't necessarily matter as much as the thoughtfulness behind it. Don’t be afraid to ask teammates what kinds of gifts they like to receive so you can be intentional in what you give. Company-wide surveys are another way to learn about their favorite foods, interests, and activities.

4 - Acts of Service: When you see a teammate buried in their work, should you offer them a gift, time, or help? People who speak this language appreciate when their teammates help them with tasks and errands. Helping with tasks, running errands, and helping get things done is one way to show people how much you value and appreciate them.

But ask first if they need help and how. Assuming that someone needs help can be interpreted negatively. No one wants to feel like they can’t do their job, but we all need a little help at times.

5 - Physical Touch: This language is all about physical connection. In the workplace, this can be a tricky language to speak. Appropriate physical touch depends on the HR guidelines and the feelings of the recipient. Fist bumps and high fives might be what they need to feel connected but do not touch anyone who does not want to be touched.

Employee recognition is not a one-size-fits-all. The five languages of appreciation in the workplace help managers inspire great performance and retain top talent.

Click on the link below to take a quiz that can help you identify your Work Love Languages and the Work Love Languages of your team members:

For a printable PDF of this post, click here: The 5 Love Languages at Work


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