Give in Meaningful Ways

If the intention behind giving is to make a contribution, then it only makes sense to look at the ways we can contribute that will be of the most value. When we’re giving in a way that we think makes sense, we’re still in our own world and focused on ourselves. When we’re truly giving, it requires getting curious and looking at what will make a real difference in what, when, and how we give to the other person.

Gary Chapman’s work, The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, offers significant insight into purposeful ways that we can give to each other. He identifies five love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service, and gifts. He explains how people have different preferences for how they receive affection and appreciation. People generally have one primary love language and a secondary love language. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People, written by Chapman and Paul White, outlines the preferences people have for acknowledgment in a work setting. Where some people would rather receive a compliment or verbal praise, others may prefer to receive a reward or a gift. Like anything, you can enhance your ability to identify people’s preferences and express love and appreciation in relevant ways with practice. In fact, the biggest hint in knowing what will most resonate with someone else is to look at the ways that they most often express their love and appreciation.

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