Communication is key to successful relationships. In business and professional circles, the focus is generally on clear verbal communication. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts focuses on the nonverbal communication between married couples. However, I believe that the skills learned in the 5 Love Languages is applicable in all areas of life, including business and professional life.
What is The 5 Love Languages About?
The 5 Love Languages is a book written by Gary D. Chapman, first published in 1992. The book’s underlying premise is that love is a choice that we must make. It is not simply a feeling that you feel.
Chapman explains that people express love differently. He identifies five basic ways that people express love – Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. These five ways to express love are what he collectively calls the five love languages.
The problem is, people generally express their love in the way that they like to be loved. If someone enjoys receiving gifts from those that they love, they will give gifts to express their love to others. Receiving Gifts is their love language. However, the person that they love may have Acts of Service as their love language. They may be bewildered as to why they are constantly receiving gifts. Meanwhile, all they really want is for their loved one to do nice things for them.
Chapman firmly believes that once we decide to love someone, we should try to learn that person’s love language to better express our love for them. To help this process, the book ends with a discussion of finding your own love language, finding the love language of your spouse, and how knowing your love languages will affect your marriage. A short self-assessment is included at the end of the book to help with the discovery of your own love language.
The 5 Love Languages in the Business Environment
I am constantly amazed by how often the 5 Love Languages comes up in business conversations. I came across the 5 Love Languages at the first Leaders Conference for enrollmentFUEL. Seven people were in attendance, three of whom flew in for the day to attend. We were all discussing an important aspect of the business, when the business founder stood up to explain his vision for the company and how it would affect the decisions to be made.
In his explanation, he actually started talking about The 5 Love Languages. He wanted the board to better understand him by explaining that his love language was Acts of Service. Two or three other board members started nodding their heads and one or two chimed in with their own love language. Well, I knew right then that if I was going to serve on this board, I would have to read this book.
I read the book and I have recommended the book to many friends and business acquaintances. And I must say that everyone that has taken my advice and read the book has not been disappointed. So now, when the book comes up in conversation, I am prepared to participate in the conversation instead of listening.
Most recently, I attended a three day business coaching conference. At lunch on the third day, I sat at a table with five other conference attendees. What book came up at lunch? The 5 Love Languages. All six of the people sitting at the table had read the book. And of the six, four had their spouse read the book as well. Needless to say, I do believe that this is an important book for business owners and leaders.
Why Should You Read The 5 Love Languages?
By reading The 5 Love Languages, I believe you will gain some self-awareness that will help you in all of your personal relationships, including relationships with business partners, customers, and clients. The insight that you may gain from a careful reading of The 5 Love Languages will also make you more aware of how other people seek to interact with you. Through this awareness, you can start to understand how people want to be treated to build long lasting personal and business relationships that are real.
Having read through The 5 Love Languages, I now know my own personal love language: Quality Time. I think this is a very good depiction of how I prefer to interact with my spouse, close friends and business contacts.
I strongly encourage you to read The 5 Love Languages so that you can discover your love language. If you do, I would love to hear about it.