Knowing how to appreciate someone.
A friend of mine came to visit me last week for a few days and the number one thing I appreciated about her coming to visit me, was her will to ride 10 hours on the bus to and from this destination. This shows to me that she values spending time with me, which is vital for the appreciation language I speak.
Every person has a language of appreciation and love they speak. Figuring out what your partners, colleagues and teammates love and how they want to be appreciated is crucial for really connecting with them on a higher level.
There are five main languages or ways to show someone you appreciate them. That is:
- By spending time with them; going for coffee, dinner, team buildings
- By doing something nice for them, which requires time and doing; crafting, cooking, offer to help out with a task/project
- By offering them gifts; flowers, gadgets, vouchers
- By using words to express this appreciation; writing little notes, emails, letters
- By physically showing it; a handshake, shoulder pads, hugs
Do you know how to express appreciation towards those in your immediate environment? How about your team and collaborators?
If you haven’t figured this out, get ready, set and go. This can boost up your connection and communication.
One straightforward way to discover what they love and how they want to be appreciated is by asking them to come up with a gift for a colleague’s birthday or a special day. Most of the time, the gift they would love to offer this person is a similar one they would love to receive back. Or at least in the same category of ways to show appreciation.
For example, if someone suggests to handcraft a jewellery box for them, this can mean that they like when others create something with a personal touch and signature for them. It can be anything from a home cooked meal to a decoupage box.
Then another colleague offers to write a special note along with this box; they likely like receiving words of appreciation now and then to feel like they belong.
If you get the right gift to a birthday colleague, you will score points as a team, maybe even as an individual if the doing was your idea. People love to be appreciated for the work they do, for knowing how they make your life more enjoyable and a team better off.
On the other hand, if you take all the time to create a beautiful gift for someone, but it is not the language of appreciation they speak, you could be making the wrong impression. Imagine if a person loves 1on1 time, but instead, you buy them a perfume. It is not different than giving someone chocolate with nuts when they are allergic. Okay, maybe that is a bit too extreme, but you get my point. It is more likely to hurt your connection and communication than spark it and enrich it.
To be a better communicator and have a strong and enriching connection with people you spend most of your day with, at work, but also life in general, you might want to hack their language of appreciation.
What appreciation language do your co-workers, colleagues and friends speak?