Would you believe that the relationships you build in the workplace involve love languages? Before you adamantly say that it is not possible, know that there is such a thing, as mentioned in the book, The Five Love Languages that was written by Gary Chapman in 1995. These love languages can be applied to romantic relationships as well as workplace relationships.
But why compare the work relationship with a romantic relationship? If you are a full-time employee who has been with the company for a while, it is likely that your co-workers have seen the best and worst of you. You are committed to be with them for 8 hours each day, 5 days a week. A business relationship is like marriage, it takes time to build ties and you need to spend effort to make your relationship with your co-workers last.
Given that premise, it is fitting that these love languages can be used to enhance your workplace. According to the book, people choose to give and receive love differently and it is essential to learn how to make your partner feel appreciated based on their personality. When you deal with a person, whether someone is a love interest, a family member, a friend or a work colleague, you typically adapt to the person’s character, since by doing you, you are able to reach into the person’s mind and heart deeper, which is the basis of forming a relationship. Thus, the lessons that you can learn from the five love languages can apply to your colleagues at work and your customers. You can use them to strengthen your relationship with your clients.
The five love languages
Based on the book, the five methods that make people feel they are loved include the following:
- Quality time
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
It is possible to translate these five methods and successfully and effectively apply them to your workplace.
1. Quality time
Most people respond well when they can see the person they are interacting with. Even when virtual offices exist, quality face time is essentials especially if you are trying to make a prospective client feel more comfortable with you. The personal interaction is still very much appreciated. It is something that cannot be achieved by sending emails and phone messages.
Visiting them in their office for a client call or scheduling a face-to-face presentation or meeting is more effective than sending a proposal by mail. Even if you keep in touch regularly with prospective clients electronically, building a solid relationship with personal meetings lays the foundation for a better working relationship. Taking them to dinner or coffee or visiting a client in their office racks up points in your favor.
This is an important lesson if you are dealing with clients from Asia, where face-to-face interaction is one of the most important considerations for your business relationship or partnership to move forward.
Within the workplace, quality time is very important as well. Many managers place importance on your presence in the office. Your attendance, visibility in the office and your participation in after-office activities are all considered when it is time for performance reviews. You will be regarded as a team player by how you interact with your work colleagues and how to spend your time with them.
There are more ways to have quality time with your work colleagues. You can make plans for the weekend or go on a casual drinks with them at the end of the workweek. For a manager or a supervisor, you can schedule one-on-one meetings with your subordinates regularly.
When you are courting someone, sending flowers unexpectedly and in moments sans occasion, can be quite impressive. You can do the same with your colleagues or clients. This is not talking about kickbacks or bribes here because that would be against company policies. Gifts to colleagues and clients can take the form of a holiday gift, a box of treats that you find during one of your trips, or souvenirs. Your boss would appreciate fresh information and your officemates would love to receive something that can help them with their current projects. Giving gifts becomes more meaningful when they are unexpected, which shows the recipients that you are thinking of them and that you are willing to help without them asking you directly.
What you have to keep in mind is to know if giving a client a gift is acceptable. There are companies where receiving gifts of any kind is not allowed. There are also cultures where gifts should be carefully chosen because the people attach meanings to the gifts they receive.
3. Words of affirmation
When you are in a romantic relationship, you appreciate it when you partner gives you words of affirmation and some words of encouragement. You can make use of this gesture in business relationships as well. For most clients, having meetings is already a given. It is part of the partnership. Having an occasional lunch meetings is considered part of the service and continuing relationship as well. But when you send your client a thank you note for giving you a purchase order, it is something unusual and will be very much appreciated, especially if it is their first purchase order for your company.
Giving clients small courtesies such as a thank you note or an email or phone call to thank them for their business shows them you value their business. In the workplace, words of encouragement and compliments to colleagues who continuously do good work or contribute more to the completion of a project show your team members that you are paying attention to them individually. You let them know that you have noticed their performance and appreciate what they are doing.
4. Acts of service
Some people quickly notice it when people go out of their way to offer help, even without them saying a word. At home, your partner or your family members notice if you voluntary do the dishes, clean the house or take out the trash. When it comes to customers and clients, an additional service can go a long way. You can make them feel appreciated, special and highly valued by giving them small courtesies. It could be a discount for repeat orders, delivering something personally instead of having the office messenger do it or doing something for them that will save them time.
In the office, you can ask your boss if there is something you can work on to help reduce his or her workload. You can volunteer to help a stressed colleague. You can offer to teach someone how to use a computer program if you have some free time or show a new hire how to navigate your inter-office computer system.
5. Physical touch
Touching is non-verbal communication and oftentimes, it is something that couples use to express their love for each other. You might be taken aback that it could be used to enhance your workplace as well. You can develop the art of shaking hands for example. Have you noticed how some people offer their hand limply to shake your hand? How many times have you encountered a person who firmly grips your hand? There are people who know how to shake someone’s hand that indicates that they are glad to meet you and possibly build a good business relationship with you. It’s a handshake that is firm (but not crushing) and exchanged for at least a few seconds. In business etiquette, a handshake should last from two to five seconds.
Of course, there are other ways to touch a client, customer or colleague physically without the person misinterpreting your intention. You can pat the shoulder of a colleague who has done a good job. You can hold the hand of a workmate who is dealing with some issues and needs the warmth of another person, along with some comforting words. Do not forget that you can also share fist bumps, high fives and quick hugs with pats on the back.
It is up to you to choose the right type of love language to use in each situation you encounter in the workplace. Be observant and follow the example of others, especially when you are meeting a new client. Do not forget that you have to observe office and business protocol at all times, so people will not misinterpret your intention.
Ensuring healthy and effective rapport with your target audiences
Love can be shown in many different ways, because the level of your relationship with different people varies. You can show love by giving someone respect. You can show that you care by ensuring that your colleague, business partner or client gets the right kind of information. Business success is dependent on the relationships you build with different stakeholders, so it is important that you have rapport with the people you deal with at any time.
One of the ways you can build good rapport is by providing your foreign clients and colleagues with properly and accurately translated information in the language they fully understand. This is the value of human translation, because the nuances of the language are clearly understood. Day Translations, Inc. only works with native speaking human translators who reside in-country. It is an assurance that your translations are accurate, in the proper syntax, context and grammar required by your specific audience. Whenever you need high quality translation, call us at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us. You can get in touch with us anytime, anywhere you are because we are open day and night all throughout the year.
Show your love wherever you are and whoever you’re with. Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at Day Translations, Inc.
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