Knowing Your Colleagues' Love Languages

In honor of Valentine's Day...

Many years ago, I read the classic book 5 Love Languages. Then around this time last year, a friend recommended that my fiancé and I take this quick Love Language quiz to reveal our respective love languages to each other.

Since my now-husband and I are opposites, it was no surprise that we do not crave love in the same way. However, the goal is not to have the same language as your partner. The goal is to simply know your partner's language (Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch), then adjust your actions so that (s)he feels loved and appreciated.

The connection between one's personal-love language and her work-love language recently hit me, as I was thinking about upcoming performance reviews and recruiting new talent into our industry.


For example, as someone whose language is Receiving Gifts, this is how I like to be appreciated and will grow in loyalty to a boss or organization.  This may seem obvious, as one could translate to "give me more money!" But for me personally, that's not all there is to it. People who know me know that I love professional development and extra opportunities to learn. Working this "gift" into my motivation plans at work would increase my loyalty and let me know that my boss knows who I am on a deeper level. 

For someone else whose language is Words of Affirmation or Quality Time, a boss or teammate should consider having regular, weekly one on ones to review progress; publicize and promote her accomplishments; and pay close attention to how (s)he communicates and frames conversations.


What I'm suggesting is all part of intentional relationship building and isn't rocket science, I know. However, communicating with this level of intention is often the first thing to go when we're feeling time-crunched, threatened, or insecure.

I would also offer that it goes both ways: as an employee, understanding your own Love Language and using it to form powerful and trusting relationships with your boss, colleagues, or even as part of negotiating your next position will help you stand out among colleagues and increase the mutual loyalty between you and your organization.


Take the 5 minute quiz and leave a Comment to let me know your Love Language and how you'd like your boss or organization to "speak it" with you.


Image by Birds and Baking

Posted on February 13, 2017 and filed under Tips & Tools.