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Monday, December 26, 2011

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

David A. Zimmer
David A. Zimmer, PMP
Chief Business Strategist
American Eagle Group

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
by Dr. Gary Chapman

A few years back, I attended a men's conference. One of the sessions discussed improving your love life. I was curious and decided to attend. During the session, we took a profile to help us determine our love language. According to the presenter and this book, there are five love languages. Each of us feel love, affirmation and self-worth in different ways. For some, it is through touch. For others, it's words of affirmation. Or acts of service. And so on. The simple 30 question assessment pinpointed my love language. Something I already knew but couldn't put into words. More importantly, it was difficult to explain to my wife.

Funny thing was, her love language was completely different than mine. While I tried to love her using my language, she didn't get it. And vice versa. She was loving me the way she needed it, but I wasn't translating. Even with the communication gap, we experienced a good marriage.

One morning, I took her to breakfast and had her take the same profile. Immediately, we discovered a key to taking our relationship to the next level. It has been really amazing.

I am excited to read this book. I know human languages have different dialects. Same words, different meanings. Similar phrases with various connotations. I am expecting this book to help me understand the dialect of love I speak, but more importantly, my wife's dialect.

An ancillary goal is to recognize other people's love language. As a project manager, I can use this knowledge to help me manage and influence my team members.

Epilogue: I've finished reading the book. I found the simple 30 question assessment to be accurate, even with additional explanation. In the book, the author gave several additional ideas to pin-point your particular language if you feel two might apply. So, it was a very good read.

What I find to be a little more difficult is applying it to business situations. The principles would work, but you would need to apply them differently. For example, let's say one of your co-worker's love language is touch. It is not appropriate to be going around touching people, especially in inappropriate manners. That'll get you fired and possibly sued. Bringing in gifts for the person who feels loved by receiving gifts may get you in trouble as well.

But, I can say, now that I am more aware of these 5 love languages, I can begin to empathize with my fellow team members and understand their actions a bit better.

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