Published on Nov. 1, 2002, at 4:08 p.m.
by Grace Brindley.
In relationships, we all have preferences for how we receive and convey love. Psychologists classify these inclinations for certain types of affection as one’s love language. These five types include words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gift giving and physical touch.
When engaging with this quiz, I discovered my love language: words of affirmation. This result means positive communication makes me feel the most validated and secure in my relationships. Statements of appreciation, such as compliments or a simple “thank you,” fulfill my emotional needs. Alternatively, someone with a love language of gift giving might prefer thoughtful presents to words.
Love languages may seem exclusive to romantic relationships, but they can also play a role in platonic ones. For example, I love to express and receive words of affirmation in friendships. This practice helps me to develop greater connections with people.
Some of the most important relationships to nurture occur in the workplace. Love languages can translate to desired forms of communication, which employee interactions demand. Understanding how to meet co-workers’ needs facilitates an empathetic and positive office culture. It also enables successful collaboration and teamwork.
So, how does your love language define you at work?
Words of affirmation
If you are like me and your love language is words of affirmation, you appreciate
positive feedback at work. However, constructive criticism can also be an effective way to speak with this office love language. People who prefer words of affirmation favor open communication and mentorship in the workspace.
People whose love language is quality time value spending time at work focused on building employee relationships. Activities dedicated to team bonding and raising morale help them feel cherished and content within their organizations. One-on-one meetings with managers also convey care for this type as an individual.
Acts of service
If your love language is acts of service, you appreciate support in the workplace. This kind of aid could include check-in emails or a co-worker taking initiative on a project when they know you are overloaded. Acts-of-service individuals value team members who pull their weight. Additionally, a distinction between acts of service and words of affirmation is action in leu of asking. In other words, provide help, instead of just offering it.
For those whose love language is gift giving, they respond to being rewarded for working hard. Examples of incorporating this preference into the workplace include promotions, certifications and acknowledgment of enthusiastic employees with special opportunities. Compensatory efforts communicate to these employees that
they are appreciated and valued.
At first glance, the physical touch love language may seem out of place in the office; however, there are ways to incorporate it thoughtfully. If your love language is physical touch, shaking hands with and high-fiving co-workers allows for appropriate physical contact at work. Additionally, another suggestion for meeting the needs of these individuals is paid time off. This option provides employees whose love language is physical touch with the ability to engage with friends and family outside of work.
All companies and organizations could benefit from awareness of love languages. Numerous employees feel underappreciated at work, especially those a part of the new generation of Gen Z workers. Incorporating love language preferences at the office could help combat this issue and establish strong and positive workplace relationships.