Love Language in Business
Before we begin, we want to be sure you’re familiar with “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. If you haven’t taken the test before or in a while, it’s a great tool to help you identify the ways in which you best respond to, give, and receive love. The five categories of love languages are (in no particular order):
1. physical touch 2. quality time 3. words of affirmation 4. gifts 5.acts of service.
Learning your personal love language as well as the language that your significant other, child, and even business partner best responds to can completely revolutionize your interpersonal relationships, both platonic and romantic. So, before reading any further, if you haven’t already, take the quiz here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
Disclaimer: Power Pump Girls, Inc. is not a relationship blog- haha! Sorry girl, but you most likely will not find any love advice, date night tips, or secrets to finding your soulmate anywhere on this site. We do, however, know a thing or two about creating and fostering business relationships! And, in our opinion, the links in successful business and personal relationships are more alike than they are different. Surprisingly, the 5 Love Languages listed above do have some viable applications in the business world. Here’s how:
1. Quality time: This is our number one love language, and it’s evident. We’re famous (some may say infamous?) for scheduling in-person coffee meetings! At the root of it all, we value people and want to be able to express our appreciation for their time, critical input, collaborative ideas, and downright existence. We express this best by doing so with some old-school facetime.
In business, quality time with your clients and customers is vitally influential. When you set aside quality time to meet your client’s needs and be there for them in a special way, they’ll be more willing to do the same for you in you. In addition to being respectful of others’ and their time, the quality time language also encompasses being respectful of time itself… aka be on time! In the words of Karen Joy Fowler, “Arriving late is a way of saying your own time is more valuable than the time of the person who waited for you.” *mic drop*
2. Gifts: There are very few people in this world that DON’T enjoy receiving gifts, especially surprise gifts! In business, gifts (within typical HR regulation, of course) are an openly accepted “love language.” Think less brown-nosing, bribery type gifts, and moreso gifts of appreciation and recognition. The best gifts are the unexpected ones, so don’t wait until the holidays or special occasions to let your clients and customers know you’re thinking of them. For example, we send handwritten thank you notes to all our event-day vendors after every event production. It’s our signature (hehee, get it?) way of saying “You rock, don’t ever change!
The best part of this business love language is that it doesn’t have to break the bank! Gifts come in all forms. As Forbes puts it, “Gifts in the workplace can also come in the form of information, like sending your boss or colleague a relevant article. And promotional items, boxes of treats, or a gift during the holidays can be meaningful gestures that are sometimes more appreciated than an office drop-by (especially for the “I’m too busy for everything” types). The point is to deliver something that shows you’re thinking about the person and that you’re actively interested in keeping the relationship alive.”
3. Words of Affirmation: In the same way you exchange encouraging words with bae, being verbal about the great work your business partner does can be equally effective. This business love language is probably the easiest to disburse, especially considering how many people your business interacts with on a daily basis. An uplifting verbal, handwritten, or text-messaged word can go a long way! That positive sticky note you snuck onto your colleagues’ desk on your way out of your meeting can change her entire perspective for the rest of the week. Leaving a sweet message on your receipt to your waitress may start a ripple effect for other random acts of kindness that day! Arco & Associates suggests, “If you haven’t done so lately, reach out to those around you and offer up a deserved kind word or two. You never know what kind of impact those simple words will have on those around you—or your business.”
4. Physical Touch: Before you rev up your engines on us, we aren’t talking about treading on the lines of sexual harassment. In business, something to be especially conscious of is your handshake. As a Power Pump Girl, after checking out your super fly shoes, women (and men) are going to size you up by the quality of your handshake. Remember: handshakes should always be firm, but not death-gripping, and accompanied by sincere eye contact.
If you’re planning on taking your business worldwide… and you should be… keep in mind that, in other cultures, their handshake equivalent may be other forms of physical touch or body language, such as a kiss or bow. Don’t count out this business love language for fear of being too personal. Your avoidance of any physical gesture can very well come across as cold or rude, or even worse, unwilling to do business. We think it’s safe to say most people are comfortable starting business interactions with a handshake and ending with another or cordial hug.
5. Acts of Service: Has your significant other ever filled your gas tank or folded the laundry you left in the dryer without you having to ask? If you can relate, you know how wonderful that feeling is when someone does something practical to show they’re thinking of you. The same can apply for business. Going the extra mile, or even just the extra step, for a client can be the difference-maker in ensuring future business – and those much-appreciated referrals! This love language can be communicated by way of discounts on fees, walking your business partner’s dog, or taking on part of the project you know your colleague is struggling with.
In your shared workspace, making a fresh pot of coffee around the 3 PM afternoon lull will get you major brownie points with your peers, only costing you 2 minutes of your free time. Acts of Service is a love language that doesn’t have to take much time, effort, or money, but show that you were thinking of someone in a caring manner. It’s in our female nature to be loving and expressing such via acts of service are a great way to ensure even greater business success!
We’ve said a mouthful, but our hope is that you find this information helpful in improving your interpersonal business relationships and discovering the “love language” you respond to best. More advice from Forbes:
“Everyone’s different, so the key is finding out which type of attention makes your colleagues and clients feel most valued. It’s not always clear at first, but listen and watch for what each person responds to over time… Also pay attention to how people treat you—often, they will give love in the same way they want to receive it.”