Are You Speaking The Right Leadership Love Language?
Updated: Jun 20
What a love filled week this is. You might not know this, but I love LOVE. I love showing love, giving love, receiving love. I always cry at weddings, because there’s just so much love.
When you start thinking about love, rarely are you thinking about it in terms of your leadership role. But what if your team needed their love bucket filled up by you, their manager. Now, I’m not suggesting love in a romantic way (although, I did marry my favourite staff member some 10+ years ago).
I’m suggesting love in the way of love languages.
In 1995 Gary Chapman wrote the book - The 5 love languages. It’s world famous, sold over 7 million copies, translated in 40 different languages and made the New York Times best seller list. So what this really says, is that we’re looking for ways to better communicate love, and help our loved ones feel loved.
Chapman’s book focuses specifically on love languages with your partner, these include Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch. You can read more about Chapmans work here.
What I wanted to share with you today, is the LEADERSHIP Love Languages. These are different ways of showing appreciation and care to your team (several weeks back I shared the importance of connection and belonging, you can read that here).
The 5 Leadership Love languages include:
Feedback and Mentorship
New Opportunities and Challenges
1. Feedback and Mentorship
Feedback and Mentorship can mean different things for different people. This combined with cadence and consistency can be a real game changer.
Feedback includes specific examples of how someone can propel themselves forward. How can you help them?
It might include assisting one of your team to learn more about their capabilities, and engaging someone to help them in the way of coaching. Leaders supporting this is very important when it comes to matters.
2. Workplace Bonding
2023 is the year of great connection and reconnecting with teams and purpose. For some, things like grabbing a coffee (not the performance management kind) and morning tea can be just the thing to fill up their love bucket. For some, broadening their network is important, this can be across teams as well as outside of the business. Perhaps you can introduce one of your team to someone within your network. For others, it can include a more structured and experiential bonding, this includes offsites, and retreats (you can join the waitlist for our upcoming retreat here). 3. New Opportunities and Challenges
Years ago, I saw a speaker at the AIM Young Achiever of the Year conference. It was captivating, exciting, and so intriguing. The topic was adrenaline junkies, and how for some, they feel alive in the pursuit of goals and really being pushed to the edge of their capabilities. Later, I learned that it was world renowned speaker Matt Church, who shared that for some, the opportunities and the challenges are what light them up the most.
Some of the people in your team need to know that you care, really care. To fill up their love bucked, this will include checking in, really checking in. Particularly when someone is struggling. It can also include making sure your actions speak louder than your words, being accountable. And for some of your team, they might need their love bucket filled up, by being needed. This means you asking for help (vulnerability in asking for help isn't always easy, but it is worth it!).
5. Encouraging Touchpoints
This is a key piece to leadership in 2023 (and beyond). Your team, I would guess almost all of them need to feel like they matter to you. Like the work they're doing matters, and that what they're working towards matters towards the vision and ambition of the business. Ensure your team feels like they matter in those micro moments, a phone call to check in. An email to express your gratitude. Not just 'well done', but 'thank you so much'. And taking the time out to recognise key milestones before moving onto the next busy thing. While it’s always important to be kind, it’s just as important for leaders today to show that their people matter.
My question for you, which leadership love language will you try out?
Until next time, Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, Be the Bird, and send someone some Leadership Love.