You may want to rethink the old saying of “treat others as you would like to be treated”. I’ve found it’s not the most effective method to having great relationships. The truth is that people want to be treated the way THEY want to be treated. What’s important to you may not be important to someone else. There’s a model for how people feel the most loved that you might want to check out. The book is called The Five Languages of Love and it impacted our family, years ago, in a way that made each of us treat each other in a completely different way in regard to showing love and resulted in each person feeling appreciated and cared about regularly.
You can use the model with your employees as they’ve come out with The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People. Here’s a breakdown of the model that might help you see why taking just a few minutes to do the assessment (it’s free!) and having others that you care about take it too, could seriously improve the level at which you celebrate one another.
TRY THIS: The free on-line assessment to determine what your language is.
READ THIS: A quick breakdown of the book in this article. Do you feel the most love when someone spends quality time with you or do you appreciate it more when you receive a gift from that person? Does a hug make you feel cared about or could it be that you covet what someone does for you in the way of service? It could be that you feel appreciated and loved the most when someone gives you words of encouragement?
BE THIS: Aware that the way you feel the most loved is probably different than your spouse or your kids and team members. Knowing that someone you want to have a great relationship with feels the most cared about when you give them a gift sure will save you a lot of time and frustration. If you are killing yourself to provide acts of service and they simply want you to tell them how much you cherish and appreciate them you could use all that time and energy to do something nice for yourself or someone who loves it when you do something nice for them. Most important is to be aware that just because you love words of encouragement, it doesn’t mean that the person you are showering with verbal praise appreciates it the way you would.
For me, sincere words of encouragement feed my heart and soul. My husband probably appreciates it when I tell him how wonderful he is, but he doesn’t feel totally loved until I spend quality time with him. My daughter likes even the smallest, thoughtful, gift. Knowing this has allowed me to give love the way they want to receive it.
Try being open this week to other people’s way of thinking and being. You’ll be surprised and delighted at how different it may be from yours.