As an entrepreneur, relationships are critical to your success in both life and business.
Of course, you are probably working very, very hard to make a living. And to build a life that allows you to effectively (and optimally) take care of relationships in your life… those that are closest to you those that are most important to you.
Of course, you're making money to take care of yourself. But most of us tend to kind of put that aside in favor of thinking about other people in our lives. As well we have relationships, of course, with our customers and our clients. We have relationships with our employees, and our contractors and vendors and people that help us deliver our promise in the marketplace. And we have relationships through social media and business networking. And if we're smart, we even look for expanding those relationships to make a bigger and more powerful influence and impact in the world around us.
But my question for you today, and I'll give you a solution for this, is how do you build those relationships? How do you communicate in such a way that those relationships increasingly over time, get closer and closer?
Well, I've stumbled on to a brilliant formula for this through a book called The Five Love Languages. Now you probably have read it, it's by a brilliant guy named Gary Chapman. It’s turned into a series. He's figured out and the marketplace at large has helped him realize that his formula for relationship transcends all aspects of relationships, all types of relationships. And again, if you haven't read the book, I strongly recommend it.
There are Five Love Languages
So basically, there's five ways that we, as human beings, notice and appreciate how love is being expressed to us. And we have a preference, it turns out. Now, it's usually not singular, usually, there's a combination, if you read the book you'll have an opportunity to take a little quiz in there.
But basically it boils down to this…
1. You appreciate words of affirmation as an expression of love.
2. You appreciate acts of service as your primary expression of love -- when people do things for you, you feel loved.
3. You appreciate time, quality time, oftentimes comes up as a way that people can communicate or express their love to us.
4. You appreciate touch. When we are touched in a gentle and meaningful way, then that is an expression of love for many of us.
5. And finally, you appreciate gifts. When someone gives us something, whether we expect it or not, then that's an expression of love.
So there's five unique ways that we appreciate love. And when we learn how to express our love to other people using those languages, the languages that they most appreciate, then all of a sudden relationships will get better, get tighter, get more secure, and, and certainly more predictable in terms of the closeness that we can create.
Relationships are Essential in Both Business and Life
And what's remarkable about this formula, this idea, this paradigm is that this works in business, and it works in life. So when you think about your customers, your clients, the people that are paying you to deliver a promise to them… it's not just the delivery of the promise, you see, it's how you communicate.
If a person is particularly wired to appreciate words of affirmation, then they need to hear you say you express that you appreciate them as a customer.
If time is an important language for them, then they need to sense that you've taken time to fully express your commitment to solving the problem that you solve.
If it's gifts, maybe as an expression of love, or a language of love, that a customer might have been giving them an extra something that they weren't expecting… a tangible gift of some kind, even though it doesn't cost very much. Even a handwritten note is an expression of love. And touching… a hug.
You see all these different five languages when expressed in business have a powerful impact as well.
So first and foremost, I want to challenge you today to take a look at the people in your life that are most important to you.
In your intimate relationships, the people that you are working hard for right now and I want to ask you… are you expressing your love your appreciation in ways that communicate effectively to them?
You might appreciate words, but they might appreciate time. And so what you need to do is express your love and appreciation for them with time.
The same is true for your customers. The same is true for your employees. The same is true for anyone that you want to build a relationship with.
So, read the book, learn about your love language, and then translate that into how you express your love for the people around you. I guarantee it will make a difference… it will make your efforts in business more worthwhile, it will make your life more worthwhile.
It's about how we express our love. That makes a difference.