I really think the 5 Languages of Appreciation would be helpful in my office, but my boss isn’t interested. Is there any way you suggest I try to introduce them to him?

August 10, 2011 12:12 pm Published by

Jennifer, this is a common issue raised, especially after I speak to a conference. A lot of people say to me, “My boss really needs this book, but I don’t know how to tactfully introduce it to him.”

We have found three different approaches that have been successful. First, go to the free resources section of the website and find an appropriate article that could be used to introduce the languages of appreciation, saying something like, “I saw this article and thought you might find it interesting.” This often leads to at least a further discussion and allows you to share your thoughts.

A second approach is to talk to your boss and say, “I heard about this book that shows you how to encourage your colleagues without spending any money. I don’t know if you are interested, but would you mind if I tried it out with a few of the team members? Then I can tell you if it is worthwhile or not.” Almost always, the supervisor agrees — since there is no cost to them.

Finally, some individuals have just taken it upon themselves to start using the 5 Languages approach, often getting a couple of colleagues to try it with them. After a while, and if the manager happens to see a book or hear talk about the concepts, they have approached the team member and want to find out more. We’ve even had a supervisor say (after initially reporting no interest) “We should use this with every work group!”


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August 10, 2011 12:12 pm

1 Comment

  • Paul says:

    I have just finished reading your new book, “5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace”, which confirms what I have been feeling in the workplace for some time – that appreciation matters and that, in general, it’s lacking in many American workplaces.

    I have seen my share of downsizing, outsourcing, micro-managing, poor quality to meet the deadline, command and control organizations, saying one thing but rewarding another, ect. These negative forces in the workplace result in a scared workforce, a workforce that doesn’t get appreciated, nor has enough energy to appreciate others.

    From what I’ve seen, many employees do not feel it’s their job to make someone else feel good, and unfortunately, this includes management. On your website, the first question I read really sums it up, from Jennifer S., Office Manager, “I really think the 5 Languages of Appreciation would be helpful in my office, but my boss isn’t interested. Is there any way you suggest I try to introduce them to him?” She feels, as an office manager, that it’s her boss’ responsibility to introduce this idea of appreciation. I think that is prevalent in the workplace, where people say it’s not my job. That is the root cause of appreciation not getting started in the workplace; no one feels it’s their responsibility to make other people happy, especially in the corporate jungle. Line managers, supervisors, senior employees are afraid and insecure themselves, hungering for the same appreciation, that they have nothing to give their subordinates.

    So, how does a person inside an unappreciated environment begin? How does that person, who doesn’t get appreciated themselves, provide the appreciation others need? Like the office manager on your web site feeling unappreciated, where her boss isn’t interested, how does she get nourished enough to be able to provide appreciation for others?

    Having worked in unappreciative environments (it seems the norm rather than the exception), I realized that I could not expect, nor compel others to provide me with the appreciation that I desired. Those environments take a toll on workers, and understandably, create a non-appreciative work environment. Employees spend most of their energy getting themselves through the day, with little remaining to provide the appreciation others need. I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t expect getting appreciation from above.

    And that’s when I realized I still needed approval from above, but I had to go higher than any corporate CEO. I realized that I shouldn’t go into the workplace seeking other’s approval, appreciation, or recognition. In order for me to provide appreciation to others, I needed a constant, dependable, instant source of approval. I found that source in God.

    By proving myself to Him, doing His work, allowed me to become nourished enough to provide the appreciation others seek. If we work for God’s appreciation (helping His children), we can then provide the appreciation that others are seeking. Once I started seeking God’s love, as oppose to waiting for man’s appreciation, I became free. Free enough, secure enough, and confident enough to provide others the appreciation they were seeking.

    It’s been a journey for me, in the last few years, to be able to go into the workplace and provide team and morale building, without personally needing appreciation from other individuals. Of course, it’s nice to hear, but once I overcame my dependence on people’s approval, I was able to do much more. Unless individuals in organizations feel free from people’s judgments (either craving positive praise or avoiding negative criticism) they will not be able to provide true appreciation and empathy to others.

    Your book came out at a good time for me, reinforcing my beliefs that appreciation is important. However, unless I missed it, your book left out an explanation on how an individual can provide appreciation without getting it from other people. That is, in my opinion, the hardest part. For me, the solution was to turn to God, and so far it’s been working.

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