What’s YOUR career love language? Expert reveals the four ways people communicate in the workplace – and what your style tells your colleagues
- A career expert has revealed how your colleagues may be using ‘love languages’
- The concept is based off US-based Dr Gary Chapman’s 1992 work on subject
- READ MORE: Body language expert details why we cover our mouths when we hear bad news
With love in the air after Valentine’s Day, many will be thinking about the perfect way to let their romantic partners know they care for them.
The concept of love languages was first devised by US-based Dr Gary Chapman in his 1992 book, The Five Love Languages, which put forward that humans have distinct ways in which they prefer to give and receive love and affection.
But a career expert has revealed that co-workers can also be split up into the ways of expressing admiration, originating from Dr Chapman’s work.
‘Expressing appreciation in the workplace is something we all do, but perhaps not something we’ve all considered how to do best,’ Charlotte Davies, of LinkedIn, told FEMAIL.
‘By viewing our colleagues through the lens of “love languages”, we can make sure to communicate on their level and ultimately, forge stronger relationships.’ She added: ‘Don’t be afraid to let your colleagues know what motivates you and if in doubt, just ask!’
A career expert has revealed that your co-workers can also be split up into the ways they express appreciation for you, originating from Dr Chapman’s work (stock image)
1. THE CHEERLEADER
INSPIRED BY WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
Where you can find them: On Slack, Microsoft Teams, or emails, giving you another public shout out celebrating your work.
Charlotte says that ‘Cheerleaders’ are the ‘heart and soul of any workplace’. These colleagues are always lifting others up and celebrating their colleagues’ achievements.
‘They never shy away from shouting about other people’s successes, and they are constantly letting you know how appreciated you are,’ she said. ‘Cheerleaders often compliment people to express their admiration.’
The expert adds that the best way to show your appreciation for a Cheerleader is ‘to become a Cheerleader right back’.
These workers thrive on words of affirmation, which help them stay motivated, so either offering verbal praise, sending a group chat message or an email to the team celebrating their work would go a long way.
‘If you’re not comfortable with big, public shout outs, try pulling them aside one-on-one to let them know you really appreciate their work,’ Charlotte added.
2. THE HELPING HAND
INSPIRED BY ACTS OF SERVICE
Where you can find them: Volunteering to pick up projects when their co-workers are short on time.
The ‘Helping Hand’ is ‘always there when you’re in need’, Charlotte says. These co-workers will gracefully be up for a last-minute shift switch, or rehearsing with you ahead of a presentation.
3. THE GIFTER
INSPIRED BY GIFTS
Where you can find them: Picking out the perfect present for the next office birthday or making you another lovely cup of tea. Anything to make you feel special.
‘The Gifter’ is beloved in their office, as they express their admiration by taking on the role of a social secretary.
They ensure that ‘every birthday, work anniversary, promotion and life event is celebrated and acknowledged’.
‘The Gifter isn’t about buying extravagant gifts for every occasion,’ Charlotte explained. ‘But making their colleagues feel appreciated through small gestures like getting everyone to sign a card, picking up a latte from your favourite coffee shop or baking a birthday cake.
‘They’ll never show up empty-handed after a holiday or work trip either.’
These colleagues would enjoy physical shows of appreciation, such as making them a cup of tea or organising a personalised birthday card for them.
They express themselves through small acts of appreciation. For these colleagues, actions speak louder than words, the career expert explains – so if you want to make them feel valued, offering your time can go a long way.
‘So, whether offering to help them out on a demanding project or taking tasks off their plate if you have capacity, these are some ways to build mutual respect,’ she added.
‘Small gestures can go a long way with Helping Hands too and make them feel acknowledged and understood. If you don’t know where to start, don’t be afraid to ask them how you can help them!’
4. THE CONVERSATIONALIST
INSPIRED BY QUALITY TIME
Where you can find them: Scheduling their in-office days with yours, in your messages during a call, or ‘just checking in’ several times a week.
Time with their co-workers is more important to ‘the Conversationalist’ than praise or favours.
They could plan their lunch break around yours or even enjoy commuting in with you – and are never absent at a social work event.
‘They bond over shared experiences too,’ Charlotte added. ‘And love to reminisce about past projects you’ve worked on together.
‘The best way to get on the good side of a Conversationalist is to give them your undivided attention when they need it.
‘If they come to you for advice, or even just a chat, make sure you aren’t distracted with your phone or laptop, and instead, show you’re engaged.’
Asking them to join for your lunch or showing them that you’re actively listening to their concerns is another great gesture.
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