Project management advice, tips, tools and recommend resources for existing and aspiring project managers.
Good project managers always look for ways to improve their leadership skills. Excellent project managers will apply these skills to become better leaders. One such tool to improve your skills, is the book: “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” by Gary Chapman and Paul White.
While being familiar with the “5 Love Languages” I was curious to know how the love language concept is applied to the workplace. Then more specifically I wanted to understand how words of appreciation can help a project manager become better at leading his/her project teams.
The book is aimed at helping managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout.
It helps to identify an individuals’ preference in the languages of appreciation. Understanding an individual’s primary and secondary languages of appreciation can assist managers in communicating effectively to their team members. It also relates to the power of acknowledgement – see “The Power of Grateful Leadership” for more.
According to the “5 Languages of Appreciation” there are five ways to show your appreciation in the work-place:
The languages of appreciation in the workplace have shown to significantly improve relationships among co-workers (team members) and to make workplace environments more positive for all who work there.
For each language of appreciation, there are specific actions that could be taken. Here are some good examples: (focusing on the first 4 languages only) 1
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
In the book: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, you will find a questionnaire to discover your language of appreciation and the specific actions that uniquely encourage you.
In addition to the book, you will find on the website: www.appreciationatwork.com more resources to use. One such resource is the “Motivating by Appreciation (MBA) Inventory” tool to assess your team members in order to understand how to express appreciation that resonates with each individual. Each book purchased also comes with a code inside for one free MBA inventory.
If you take the time to discover your language of appreciation, as well as that of your team members you can create a group profile showing the team members’ primary and secondary language. See example below: 2
Then you create Action Items for the Group serving as a reminder of what to do to make your team members feel appreciated for their hard work and efforts.
There are some signs that will tell you when team members need a message of appreciation or encouragement: 3
There are some problems with appreciation like when you genuinely appreciate some-one, but they don’t believe you are sincere. To get past a perceived inauthenticity, it is important to only communicate it when it’s true and to state your desire to be viewed as genuine. An example: “In spite of not saying this enough in the past, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate ….”.
You also need to be communicating appreciation consistently over time. When you team members feel valued and appreciated, good things will happen. There will be loyalty and commitment to the project, to the stakeholders, and to a successful outcome.
Where aspiring and existing project managers find Project Management Resources relating to training, software, products and services.
For practical advice on project management processes, templates and tools based on best practices to deliver your business and IT projects on time, to budget and with quality as well as satisfying your stakeholders!
1. Success Stories Shared
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