Do Unto Others

I learned from reading the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman that my preferred love languages are “acts of service” and “quality time.”

In fact, my husband—with whom I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary in December—won me over with his acts of service such as offering to take me to the airport before dawn for a 6:00am flight.  (Chivalry is alive and well!)

However…

I’m also aware that my husband’s love languages are different from mine.  His love languages are “words of affirmation” and “physical touch.”

Hmmm…just as the one-size-fits-all way of showing love and appreciation doesn’t work in our personal relationships, it doesn’t seem to work at work either!

Ask yourself:

  • How do my colleagues like to be shown appreciation?
  • If you’re a supervisor: What does each of my employees enjoy as a reward for hard work?

Better yet…ASK THEM how they would like to be acknowledged.   For example:

  • Will baking a batch of brownies for the team be appreciated? (An “act of service” AND “receiving gifts”)
  • Do they prefer to receive accolades and a plaque in front of their peers or would they rather receive a private positive email and handwritten note of appreciation…or both?

When I worked in university administration, I recall rewarding a high-performing employee by recommending him for a spot on a coveted campus committee. (Something that I would have loved!)

His response:  “Why are you giving me more work to do?”

We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.”

Yet, it seems that the moral of this story is more like The Platinum Rule—the book and the concept—by Tony Alessandra:

“Do unto others as they want to be done unto!”

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