Leadership Love Languages


We all thrive in an atmosphere of appreciation. Whether that’s peer to peer, parent to child, teacher to student or as we look at here; leader to team.

Steven Covey puts it in his book 7 habits of highly effective people: “Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated”.

As we begin 2015; which I imagine will be a difficult year for a lot of organizations. What are you doing as the team leaders to affirm, reaffirm and validate the worth of your team to both the cause and you personally?

I’ve seen a book by Gary Chapman and Paul White called: The 5 languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. In summary it translates the ‘Love Languages’ narrative often used in marriage counseling, into an employment setting; simply stating that if love, appreciation and affirmation, enhances, validates and nurtures marriages then it’ll do the same in a work setting.

After all husbands and wives are humans in a relationship together just as employers and employees. The challenge as leaders, is to work out each of our teams ‘love languages’, seeking to understand how they receive and feel valued and appreciated and implement that through the feedback we give.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid:

Maslow's Pyramid

According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, regardless whether these groups are large or small. For example, some large social groups may include clubs, co-workers, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, and gangs. Some examples of small social connections include family members, intimate partners, mentors, colleagues, and confidants.

Patrick Lencioni affirms this in his book; Three Signs of a Miserable Job – where he writes that a perfect storm of: Anonymity, Irrelevance and Measurement (unable to quantify if they are winning) maximizes a team’s job misery and minimizes job effectiveness. At a Willow Creek Leadership Summit, he said these words on this topic: Leaders are called to LOVE those who work for and with us.

So would your team say that they’re feeling the love? And can you see the impact that makes? As we approach Valentine’s Day, love your team(s) over the line.

Photo credit: BetterBizIdeas / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: flguardian2 / Foter / CC BY

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I am a Christian, a Husband and a Father, in that order. Leadership is important to me, because I see too many outside influences acting on the lives of my children, and I need support to make sure I am the most dominant influence. I appreciate your feedback and enjoy reading your input. Thanks in advance for being part of this endeavor.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.