Do you know that every one of us has a very specific and unique language of appreciation?  Gary Chapman, in collaboration with the Gallup Institute, reveals these languages and their impact on individuals, teams and business in general in the  book “The Five Language of Appreciation in the Workplace”.   What an interesting read!  I can honestly say that this understanding has impacted my business and personal relationships.  You cannot miss out on this valuable understanding of yourself and the people around you.

Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said “I don’t know a more dignified and effective workforce than one operating from a position of worth, integrity and confidence, as well as one that excels in the language of appreciation”.  I can’t agree with him more!

In a nutshell, the Five Languages of Appreciation are:

1)       Words

In my experience, this element has two possible applications.  Firstly, some people feel appreciated when they have meaningful communication with others.  Secondly, other people feel appreciated and that there is a connection when they are complimented and commended with words.

2)      Quality Time

These people like to spend time with people to feel connected and appreciated.  Just spending time together is enough . . .

3)      Acts of Service

These people feel appreciated when people do things for them.

4)      Gifts

These people love it when they are given things (price is not important . . . just that you thought of them enough to bring them something)

5)      Physical Touch

Clearly this has limitations within the workplace ;-).  These people are those who always make appropriate physical contact with those around them, e.g. hug you when they greet you.

So you may ask “How do I know what my language is?  How can I tell what other peoples’ language is?”

We all like all five of these, but we usually have 2 that are the most dominant.  Have a look at the list above and choose the two that are most important to you.  Guaranteed, these are also the two main ways that you show appreciation to those around you.

The easiest way to know what someone else’s language is is to look at how they show appreciation to you and others around them.

Here’s the difficult part . ..  the art of mastering the Languages of Appreciation is to show appreciation to those around you in their language, not your language . . .

If you are part of a team (link to team building), it is important to remember that all of us want to feel needed, appreciated and valued!  It starts with you . . . You need to make those around you feel that way and then you have a greater chance that they will do the same back to you.  By knowing the languages of appreciation, you will be able to make them feel appreciated in a language that they understand, making it more powerful and impactful.

If you lead (link to Leadership page) a team, appreciation is the key to connection with your team.   The art of showing people appreciation in a language they understand is key to any Leader and their success.  People don’t often leave professions and industries . . . they leave teams, leaders and companies.  By focussing on these languages in the workplace, you are able to make those around you feel recognised, appreciated and valued.  When they feel valued, they feel more connected and contribute better toward the team and company.  They stay at the company longer. They are invested in the company and want to see it succeed.

If you work with clients, these languages work wonderfully with them too!  They love it when you take time and effort to show personalised appreciation.


2 Golden Rules for Showing Appreciation:

1)       It has to be genuine!  Don’t fake this . . .

2)      Never miss an opportunity to show genuine appreciation.

Take a look at the people around you and try to work out what their languages by observing the way they show appreciation.  Make a note of what you think their language is and try showing appreciation in their language going forward.  See what response you get to see if you were right . . . now keep showing them appreciation . . .

Showing appreciation is most often free, yet its impact is priceless!