Courage to be Curious with Adina Tovell

Getting Appreciation in the Workplace RIGHT!

November 17, 2021 Adina Tovell, Amy Steindler, and Dr. Paul White Episode 168
Courage to be Curious with Adina Tovell
Getting Appreciation in the Workplace RIGHT!
Show Notes Transcript

You may be familiar with the 5 Love Languages, but what is the application of this to the workplace? Dr. Paul White and Dr. Gary Chapman teamed up to create the 5 Languages of Appreciation at Work and in this episode we speak with Dr. Paul about how learning to appreciate each other at work is not only a caring thing to do, but may be the single most important thing we can focus on to create a workplace where people want to work. 

Where to find Dr. Paul White:

Web - Appreciation at Work

Where to find Amy Steindler:


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Hey, this is Adina, and I want to introduce you to this week's podcast. Many of you are familiar with the book The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. And it's one of the most referenced books and coaching and therapy and talks about relationships. But our guest today Dr. Paul White, founder and president of Appreciation at Work, collaborated with Dr. Gary Chapman in order to create the five languages of appreciation at work. We know from research that most people leave their place of work, not because they want more money, or more glam and all that kind of stuff, but actually, because they don't feel really valued, heard and appreciated at work. So this is a really critically important topic. So tune into today's episode with kind of one of our leading experts on appreciation at work, what it means and how to do it well, and what are the different languages of appreciation that matter in the workplace?

Hi, this is Adina here with today's episode of Courage to be Curious with Adina Tovell and Amy Steindler, who has been joining us most of the month is here for today's episode, as well. So welcome, Amy. Thank you so much. And all throughout the month of November, on this podcast and throughout Courage to be Curious, we have been focusing on the theme of appreciation, it makes sense, it's November, we're tending to think about that in our lives in general. And for the fourth year in a row courage to be curious is the sponsor is a sponsor of the you matter, Marathon, no running required. But the you matter marathon, when all month long, we are really spreading the message to people that you matter. You've heard from Cheryl Rice, the founder of the You Matter Marathon, and how we can be using these cards and the message throughout our lives and in our work. And so wanted to just remind everybody about that. But we're also focusing on this month appreciation in the workplace, and the importance that that plays in workplace culture and people feeling valued. And that is where we bring in today's guest to we're very excited about. So Dr. Paul White, thank you so much for being with us today. I'm glad to be here with you. And I want to just give people a little bit of background on who you are, as a speaker, a trainer, and somebody whose focus right now is on making work, relationships work and bring a focus of appreciation into the workplace. And so I mean, your background and your history as to who you're serving and how you're doing this work is pretty extensive. And so as people look you up, they will find that you have worked with significant major companies and organizations throughout the this country. And then the work that you're doing is translated. But most importantly, I want to bring a focus to the book that for many of our listeners, I will say this because it has been brought in many of the listeners this podcast are familiar with the five love languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. And so we're going to talk a little bit about your history with that. But the focus that you have on the five languages of appreciation in the workplace that we're really going to be talking about today. And this book that has sold now over 500,000 copies, I'm sure now the number keeps going up really focuses on how we translate those five love languages that Dr. Gary Chapman put out into the world and then translated it into the workplace. So we're thrilled to be having you share with us how we can really go deeper into thinking about the importance and how to execute appreciation in the workplace. I'm glad to to explore that with you. So you are always

solely focused on appreciation in the workplace. So what were you doing before this? And how did you come to be really so laser focused on appreciation in the workplace? Yeah, so actually, for 30 plus years, I'm a psychologist by training and what I think that I've done this test students that have learning difficulties, ADHD, and dyslexia, that kind of thing. But also, I grew up in the context of a family owned business outside Kansas City. And a number of years ago, 20 plus years ago, some friends of mine that were

business consultants kept running into family issues because 85% Of all the companies even the really big ones are family owned and so they approached me and I started consulting with them dealing with the family issues that intersect with you know, working together but then moved into business succession planning, and wealth transfer planning when you sell a business or who's going to run it all that and so got to travel around the country and and meet with really interesting people and interesting businesses. And one time I was in North Carolina working with CEO and in this case, his son and we were

Do working on a plan. I said, you know, to him, the dad, how's how's it going? He said, Yeah, it's going, Well, my son stepping up, I think it's gonna work out, okay, I walk across the hall, ask his son, and his son says, This is a disaster, it's never gonna work. I can't ever please my dad. And at the same time, my wife and I were probably reading maybe second or third time, because I'm sort of slow learning stuff, The Five Love Languages. And I thought, you know, I wonder if this might apply. And so I pursued Dr. Chapman and pitched the idea and

agreed to work on an online assessment, which became our motivating buy appreciation inventory, that I just checked, just, we just passed the 300,000 mark for people that have used it, and then develop some training materials, and then the book and so that's sort of how I got into it. And, and over time, you know, realize that there's employee recognition programs, but they really weren't working and helping individuals feel valued and appreciated.

And so, in terms of how you came to author this second book, right, this or actually the love languages have been adapted to different audiences. But how did you come to be working with Dr. Chapman on this book? And, you know, what did it take from you? What acts of courage or resilience? Did it take from you to have a success?

You know, a couple of things. One, I mean, he was, you know, a best selling author. I mean, at that point, his book, it sold, I think, 15 million copies. And he was located in North Carolina, I live in Kansas, which is not, you know, the most endearing as far as people think, wow, you know, let's get the expert from Kansas kind of thing. And so there was a little bit of that, and, and I pursued him for over a year. I mean, it took me a year yet what I would call the nicest Bulldog administrative assistant that I could not get through. Until we met Dr. Chapman, I met him at a conference and gave me 15 minutes. Now, actually, it was a half hour to pitch the idea. And so, you know, I think that was sort of the act of courage, not only the initial, but just keeping at it. And every couple of months, I call and say, Hey, I'd like to talk to him about this. And I didn't know it, but at that time, he had another 20 plus people pitching a similar idea. And so he was trying to filter through, you know, who do I work with somebody in Soho? Alright, well, now I have to know, how did you get chosen?

So one, you know, I'm a psychologist, so I had sort of the the mental health, you know, emotional side of things.

I was working with businesses and had grown up in a business, and so had that side as well. And I present okay, you know, personally, and then maybe I don't know if it was the the kicker or not, but we both went to the same undergraduate school, Wheaton College in the west suburbs of Chicago. So that, that helped a little bit. Wonderful. Like, sometimes we never know what those points that were the points of connectivity are going today. Right?

You know, I'm kind of curious about how you made that connection between what you and your wife were reading in the love languages book and that application at work, which, you know, from the MBA sounds sort of specific to motivation, I wonder if you could for our audience, review what the five languages are, and then maybe talk about how you made that connection? And how you see them showing up at work? Yeah, I think the connection was just that, you know, realizing is being married now 42 years that, you know, people have very different communication styles. And lots of times we miss understand one another, or miss communicate and saw this as a potential tool, obviously, it worked in family situations and thought, well, you know, I wonder if the concepts translate. So he and I talked, came up that, you know, appreciation seemed to be the most sort of equivalent kind of concept in workplace relationships. And the the five languages of appreciation are of the same name as the five love languages. So words of affirmation, quality, time, acts of service, tangible gifts, and even physical touch, which people always are quite interested in. But they look differently in how they're applied. Right? I mean, because, and one of the things that we found when we put our assessment together was that you can get the language right in the workplace. But the communication around it is different, where in a personal relationship, you can say, you know, well, you know, your language, his words, was that look like you want me to write you a note or whether in the workplace, you don't sort of say, you know, how do you want me to show you appreciation, let's just sort of a weird conversation. And secondly, there aren't that many data points where you can just observe what somebody does as well. And so, that's where we developed our assessment and not only the initial was just we identified a person's primary and secondary language and their least valued language, which is your blind spot. It's when you don't think about that much

But we found that when you really identify the actions within that language and from whom you want it, so for example, quality time is one that's changed over time. In the old days, I say, like, you know, in the past millennium, you know, there was this, people don't leave job, they leave a manager. And that was true that it's somewhat true now, but less so. Whereas quality time, people might say, you know, I'd like to get individual time with my supervisor manager, either just because I value that or I'd like to share some observations or get input more and more with younger employees, it's more about time with their colleagues and peers. I've had, you know, some people say, I don't want time with individual managers are pretty intense. I'm sort of shy, but I want to go hang out with my friends, either over lunch or afterwards. And so being able to focus the specific actions that are

desired by the recipient, within the workplace has been really a key part of our work.

Yeah, I'd love to know more about that. Because you you mentioned a few moments ago, you know, it can be kind of awkward to have that conversation, you know, how do you want me to show appreciation? What what do you recommend? I mean, I understand that you want us to observe how other people are expressing appreciation and notice their own blind spots? What else can you tell us about how to engage in a conversation about it? Well, as far as engaging about, I think, especially if you're talking to leaders of an organization, there's four misconceptions we've identified. First of all, a lot of times people think appreciation and employee recognition programs are the same. And they're clearly not, most of employee recognition programs are focused on performance, which is fine, we want to do that. But we really emphasize that appreciation is about the person that is not just performance that we have value above and beyond what we do. A second misconception that people have is that the goal of appreciation is to make people feel good. We'd like that to happen. That'd be good. But actually, what we have is a just a boatload of research that shows that when team members feel valued and appreciated, that they, the organization functions, well, I mean, absenteeism goes down, tardiness goes down, conflict goes down.

customer ratings go up. Just last week, Harvard Business Review, reported research that showed that team members that feel appreciated out produce and more profitable than those that don't. So it's, I sort of use the analogy of it's like oil in a machine it, it helps the parts move smoothly, without creating tension without heat, sparks and so forth, or getting stuck. So, yeah, we won't be able to feel good, but that's not, you know, the sole goal by any means. And I think the other thing, third misconception people have is that appreciation is just words that you're sort of sharing, you know, a compliment or praise or whatever. And it clearly can be, but our research, we've had 300,000 People take our online assessment. And so we've got pretty good data. 46% of employees choose words as their primary language. So that's the single best length, most chosen language. But that means less than half of employees actually have that. So if you're only using words, you're missing, you know, more than half of your team members. And that the last misconception is that is mainly for managers and leaders to communicate. And one things that we found early on and have developed our system around is teaching team members how to communicate appreciation and encouragement to one another. And so it's been really quite effective. And it keeps saying soon because it manager can't carry at all. And when you're having a bad day, your quote, coworker is gonna know before your supervisor is and so people want to know how to encourage one another.

Yeah, you know, I want to focus in a little bit on the second misconception where he talked about the goal of appreciation not being for people to feel good, but rather to also benefit the organization all of the the key metrics. So what you know, we know this, right, your your research show this, and yet, it's tough for some companies to implement programs or

commit to showing appreciation. What can you tell us about that? What's behind that? What makes it tough for companies to? Well, they don't believe it, they don't believe it. And partly because they've been, they've been trained through MBA programs and others that you know, you're supposed to look at the financials and, you know, hold people accountable, which you're supposed to do. But, you know, part of it is what we have found is in rare occurrences, do we go in and try to implement this top down in organizations, only twice that I can think of, and once in this last year, almost always we come into the middle somewhere, where a manager or a team leader or a supervisor has found ourselves

often says, Hey, I'd like to, you know, find out how to support encourage my team, they're sort of discouraged and worn out. And so they bring us in and we start there, we do sort of a pilot study, we developed

an online Train the Trainer process that HR people, or external consultants can use to take teams through this, and teach the team members how to show appreciation. And one of the key things we talked about authentic appreciation, we're not in the process, or our goal is not to teach people how to look like they appreciate or sound like, it's like, either you do your don't. And if you don't, we have ways to address that and get to that. So lots of times, there's a misperception about it. But then when they see it work, and that it is focused on being genuine, and that it's not just saying, you know, have a nice day and draw a smiley face or whatever, you know, that it's, it's actually a little deeper than that.

You know, and that things go better. I mean, the proof is in the pudding, right? And so that's fine. I understand. And we say, Hey, if you're not into it, that's fine. Just don't become obstructive about it. Just stand off the side and watch. And, and usually it goes well,

you know, one more question. Go ahead. I'm sorry, Dan, I got one more before I turn it back over to you that sort of came up as you were talking about what they just don't believe it. And without the beat without beating the COVID horse to death? Have you found any difference in receptiveness on the part of organizations to try something like this, in the wake of all of the sort of came around? Yeah. So before COVID, we did research identifying differences between how remote workers versus on site workers like to be shown appreciation, we then sort of broaden that the first part of part of COVID and spring 2020. And then again, the fall and have published research showing, you know, what, how do people want to be shown appreciation when they work remotely, or hybrid or whatever? And yes, companies are getting it. Because when you have either remote workers or virtual teams or hybrid, it's very tough to stay connected. And so that's part of why they're losing people. And so, man, I just, we just had the best month by far ever, and people, large companies contacting us to say, Hey, how can you help us out with this, because what they're finding is, and, you know, it's, I often say, psychologists, we sort of discover the obvious, and that is, you know, we're, we're people and we have social means and relationships, and we're not just producers. And if you treat people just like producers, they're not going to stay long, it's not gonna go well. And they're finding that even though you can do zoom all day long, interact with people, but that's, we can get into it if you want, but there's different dynamics around that, that we need to help fill the gaps.

Well, I think the piece about this that

I'm really enjoying is the fact that we are all just human and in some ways COVID has made us it has forced us to be aware of each other as humans, and not just producers, right, where,

you know, the fact that we're watching each other in their living rooms, or kitchens, or things like that, or you know, our kids are coming on screen, or whatever it is happens to be the dogs and cats, that it's we're human and with the remote and virtual working. And so we need what humans need. And when you were talking about appreciation, and let's make it specific, and let's make it authentic, I think about you know, whether we're working with teachers and with children, you know, talking to children or parents or anybody else wants the same thing, if it doesn't feel true, it's not gonna land true, right? Yeah. And I mean, one of the things we sort of uncovered is that we have lives outside of work, right? I mean, that we have family, we have hobbies, we have friends, we have other things we'd like to do. And that's one of the main things that we found that needs to be dealt with when you're working remotely is people want to, first of all, you have to be proactive about it, because you don't just run into people in the hallway or in the break room or coming in. And so you don't have this sort of spontaneous kinds of interactions to just chat about how things are going or, you know, the game last night or whatever. Secondly, it needs involve peers, versus just supervisors and managers, because we want to stay connected with one another. And the third part is that, and this was came out in the Harvard research as well is that it needs to be at a personal level that because zoom work kind of communication is largely about content and tasks, which is fine. It's what it needs to do. I mean, projects, you know, a task list budgets, whatever, but we don't have those five or 10 minutes prior to the meeting or after the meeting to stand around and chat. And so it all feels very task oriented and I feel like a worker, right. And so one of the things we teach and train people to have

To communicate at a personal level,

about, you know, what do you do this weekend? Or how are your kids doing? Or is your mom, you know, in senior care and all that. And that one hint we say is don't just turn into a question asker I mean, share something about yourself sort of model this. So that there's, you know, a level of,

you know, you're not asking about super personal, it's just like, hey, I got to go sailing with my brother this weekend. That was fun, you know. So

at that personal level is is huge. And IT companies that don't get it are going to really struggle, both in keeping people and gaining new people, which is a huge issue right now. Right, I think that probably dovetails to what we've been seeing a greater focus on inclusivity and belonging, you know, whereas there was a big emphasis on diversity and equity and everything that came with that, as their, you know, should still be and things like that, but the belonging piece, and what is it that makes us feel like we belong someplace, it's very much the kinds of things that you're just talking about is that we're seeing as real people that, you know, we're brought in, we matter, we're valued for who we are in the context of the organization. Yeah, and I think it speaks to the loneliness epidemic that's being reported that you don't feel like people know you or see you. And it's, it's huge. And let me just say this, because I mean, if we talk about employee recognition and work, you got to get stuff done. What do you do with low performers, or whatever, one of the things we know about employee recognition is that touches only about the top 10 or 15% of a workforce. And often the same people get more turnover. And then you have your big middle group of 50, or 60%, of people who are good people, they work hard, they show up, they do the best they can, but they're not your stars, and if they don't hear anything, if you don't communicate appreciation, and so we really emphasize, not only, you know, picking out specific actions I do correctly, but you know, there are characteristics that we have that are enjoyable, I like to work with cheerful people more than grumpy people, you know, and so I'd rather have somebody that's sort of fun to be around. And, you know, as a solid worker, they may not be the star, but that's okay. over somebody that doesn't, isn't a drama creator, you know, it's just like, you know, they just sort of keep their cool. And we'll get through this. I mean, it doesn't show up on their performance report, but it sure as heck makes, you know, a lot better to work with as a team. What are a couple of the anecdotes that really stand out to either people, managers, peers, or companies who have taken this on and done it really well. So I have this fun company in South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado, it's a mining company. And, and they also then from the materials create commercial chemicals. So not necessarily fertilizer, but that kind of stuff. And they brought me in and we started to work together. And there was

one of the personnel kinds of leaders was sort of our champion and got trained and got other people trained and started taking it around the organization. And was fun, his effort, while the frontline workers that mostly guys who were driving trucks or cement trucks or handling, you know, big, large machinery, wanted, we have little visual symbols for each one of our languages, they wanted those for their hard hats. And so we did that. And, and now it's part of their system, she said that, you know, we have changed their culture and their environment that people love working there. And that is actually a privilege to go through a process, they have to be there and get past their six months orientation and probation, to be able to take our inventory, and then find out and go through the training. So it's just fun. I mean, you wouldn't think about sort of a, you know, stereotypical hard guy kind of career that would latch on to this. But I think the key is that, you know, the concepts are simple to understand, learn. And remember, it's practical, and we focus on being genuine versus just going through the motions. Yeah, that's great. And I just want to share this morning, I subscribe to something called The Good News Network. Because the regular outlets we have out there tech tend to highlight all of the difficult or challenging news. So I subscribed to something called The Good News Network, pool. Here's good stories. And so just this morning, because it's time we're talking right, it's right around Halloween, we just finished Halloween. And this was the school in Michigan, and it wasn't they weren't hadn't taken on your training, but they were student IDs. I don't know if you have kids or not. But having kids who have both been through high school student IDs can be pretty significant things right? Kids really latch on to it. It's their first like official identification in the world. And one of the things the school let the kids do was to take their official ID pictures, but dressed up in ways that they felt really expressed them and that felt good to them. And so they were

All these look alikes like the young, the actress from the Queen's gambit or to carry or all these amazing creations that the students came up with. But it was the sense that as a school, we're going to see you, we're going to appreciate your desire to be seen and your need to be seen in some way now let for it. And it was just absolutely amazing to click through each of the things and then feel that sense of identity rather than the typical mug shot that most kids are not happy with. Yeah, yeah. Cool. That's a great idea. And we actually we created, we have lanyards that are matched by color and words for each of the language. So in those settings, where people have to wear, you know, security badges, or whatever, they have those and in different organizations use that as well. So I know Amy and I both wanted to talk about the intersection with the different areas where we work. And so I mean, my particular focus that courage to be curious courage to be curious, is really inspiring people to be curious. And so you said, sometimes we can ask people questions, what do you want? Or, you know, ask questions about themselves. But we don't want to always be bombarding. But what is the role or importance of being curious, curious about yourself curious about the other person in getting this right? Well, it's huge. And it's a deficit in our culture. And it's what I would call perspective, taking ability, right is the ability to see a situation from somebody else's point of view, which is the foundation needed for empathy. I think sometimes we jump to empathy to quickly try to feel with and for somebody, when we really don't understand them, their background, their perspective. And that's where Curiosity comes in. I mean, when I interact with people, and maybe they're from a different, I mean, even region or cultural background, and I'm trying to figure out, okay,

how, why do they think the way they do you know, and

it's, in fact, that's one of the tips that we give, when you don't appreciate somebody,

we encourage people to spend a little time getting to know them as a person, where they came from, maybe where they went to school, what do they like to do in their free time, all kinds of stuff, because usually, it creates some kind of touch point between you and them that you can, you know, identify with, and, and then serves as one of basis for some understanding, and also something to sort of team up and communicate about in the future. So I think being curious about other people, and not assuming you understand them, or why they think the way they do or why they react the way they do is is key to having healthy relationships.

Thank you makes so much sense. And you know, I'm thinking about the emotional intelligence angle of this. And when I define emotional intelligence, I talk about it as knowing what you're feeling as you're feeling it, what triggered that emotional response, and how your emotional response and that energy of your emotional responses affecting the people around you. So I'm curious to know, in your mind, where that sort of emotional intelligence that that emotional literacy maybe shows up in this work? Well,

the first thing that comes to mind is we have an activity in our training, where

we have people go through it, maybe they maybe haven't taken the inventory yet. And they're gonna do it afterwards. But they've been through, you know, the descriptions of the various languages. And then we give them a list of actions within that language of appreciation, so words and time and so forth, and have them pick three or four, that the actions that would be meaningful to them that would communicate appreciation. And then we'd go back and say, Okay, now I want you to pick one, and I want you to talk to somebody about it, and tell them about, you know, your primary language, the action, but then tell why that action is meaningful to you, what, where does that come from? And I think that's the maybe the, the part for you, Amy, where it, it goes deeper to understand what triggered this, you know, and for some people, it's, you know, a memory growing up with their family, or, you know, I mean, you hear about comfort food, right, you know, and chocolate chip cookies, or mac and cheese and those kinds of thing. And,

and also just when somebody felt value, I mean, I can remember I was talking to somebody and my wife and I were thinking about building another house. And currently we have a wood burning, burning fireplace. We live out in the country, yada and have wood. And we're thinking about having a gas fireplace. And I realized I was resistant to it. And I actually became sad, because it early memories with my dad sitting in his chair next to the fireplace, watching football game or taking a nap together. And then as a family, our current family, we've had traditions around that. And so it's like, wow, these are deeper than I thought. It's not just a

You know, an environmental or a cost issue, right? It's, it's where I have a sense of being connected and valued by somebody else.

Yeah. And that speaks to how we're motivated, right? I mean, we are seeking an emotional feeling, right? We're, we're doing things not to do them, we're doing them because they're going to make us feel a certain way. So I think there's, there's the connection there as well that, you know, this what's behind that question that you you've been asking, you know, what's behind that? What makes that important to you? Right, exactly. And, and we need to understand it that

all of this is it really does emphasize perspective, because if a guy's working with a major supply chain, VP for a big production company, and he brought me who's a friend brought me in to do the training with his team, and his language was quality time. And so at the train into the training, he said, Alright, now y'all know, quality times by language. And so that's what we're gonna do. And if you don't like it, you can lump it. I mean, he sort of said it that way.

It's just like, over his head, as far as, you know, communicating in a way that's meaningful to the other person. And you know, and that's a growth stage for us to understand. And that's part of our discussion, too, is to help when you talk to somebody that has action or language, it's different than yours. To get a sense of, you know, why would you want anybody to spend time with you, I just miss Leave me alone, and let me do my work, or how can you know, get having somebody help you with something an act of service be helpful, you know, it's like, just let me do it. And so it gives us a little bit of a window into how other people think and view the world. So our readers know.

There's a, I loved your blog post on blind spots that just recently came out. So thank you. If our if our listeners want to know more about that, I recommend that article. Yeah. And our website is appreciation at work calm, and it's the word at but appreciation word calm and has access to her book and the blog and assessments and training stuff as well. Yes, we're definitely gonna say a bit more about that. But I do actually just have to chime in and say, I had a really big aha, as you're talking. Because as you're asking that question, you know, what is your language? And what's the origin of it? Where does it come from? And then how does that relate to other people who have other languages, and

I hadn't really understood until you were talking. And I started to put this together, why quality time is my number one language. But I grew up in we owned a family business also. And there was always so much busy, right, there was just so you know, and we kept a very tight schedule, because of running the business. We were all working at different times, and things like that. And there were a few other factors. But it felt like there was never really that time, like people didn't really have time to listen to you. They didn't have time to really just hang out and spend and hang out. Like we didn't do any of that at all. Where I was a first generation immigrant, you know, my father was an immigrant and things like that. So we never had that. And the interesting thing, too, is because right now, you know, somebody important in my life, words of affirmation is their number one language. And I realized, I have actually a hard time with that, because I received so much affirmation, but minus the quality time and presence. And the words almost seemed meaningless and trite. And so I noticed that my response to somebody who has that is I have a hard time leaning into that, though, I'm certainly learning but because of my own experience, so that was just a major Aha. Yeah, we find that people that have quality time and acts of service, specifically as their primary language of appreciation, that they sometimes not only don't like words, they think they think negatively about words that words are cheap that you know, don't say you cares, or support me show me. And so we have to understand that.

You know, that's their perspective. And how do you get around that one is genuine pneus for people for words is to be specific, right? Why don't we we have 100,000 people on our newsletter list, and we do polls, occasionally. We did one and found out ask, what don't you like to hear? And good job is one phrase people don't like to hear because it's too vague. It's too general, doesn't take any thought whatsoever. So the more specific you are, the more likely it's going to be viewed as genuine. And we actually teach a model of, okay, say their name. And if you're writing it, write their name, spell it correctly, because there's different ways to spell those names. And then be specific about what you value about them. And then why it's important either to you to the organization to your customer, so

might be, you know, Jennifer, thanks for coming in early and getting, you know, the conference room cleaned up ahead of this meeting. That way, you know, we were good to go when it was time to start and didn't have to rush around at the end. And so just that sort of three points tends to help people, you know, hear those words and cling on to them more than if you just say, hey, you know, thanks for your help. Yeah.

So I do want to talk a little bit about how people can find you and what resources they have. And then we have one final question. So you've already talked about the website appreciation at work, which is filled with tremendous resources. So I like to you to talk a little bit about the NBA. And you know, what that really helps give people access to and what are the different ways they can access that? Yeah, sure. So the inventory, there's actually two primary versions, there's a basic version, which identifies your primary and secondary languages appreciation, Your least valued language, and then the actions that are important to you in your primary language. And actually a code for that comes with the book. So you can get the book and get the inventory at the same time. Or you can just buy, you know, groups have codes for your team that don't want to read the book, which is fine. And then over time, we created an expanded version that not only identifies your languages, but also compares you to the general population, because a lot of times people say, well, that's fine. But you know, what about other people how to compare. So we have that we let people be able to identify the single most important action to them. So if there's only one thing you do, you can hit it, and then identify the ways that they don't want to be shown appreciation, so you don't accidentally sort of do something that they really don't want. And then from that, we created different versions for different work settings, because the actions in the languages look different, depending whether you're a teacher in an act of service for teachers different than for a nurse, different than somebody in the military. And so we have different versions in remote workers as well. And it's, it's, I think, seven languages now. So we just, we keep trying to just meet the need that's out there and create resources to do that. Yeah. Which is really beautiful work. Because I think more than ever, I think it's always been true, because we've all you know, humans in general, that connection is so important, but certainly in the times that we've been, and I think these last couple of years, which have been so emotionally challenging for all of us. And I remember hearing somebody recently say to me, Well, I don't know the COVID things mostly over so I don't know why people are still blah, blah, blah, whatever they say.

Right? Like, really like the cumulative effect of all these things they don't even fully understand yet of are the ways we've become disconnected or having to figure out how to interact or having such a toll on people. So, you know, this idea of continuing to bring a focus, both for workplace performance productivity for people feeling valued and wanting to stay and contribute. And I think now we're much more inclined to say for all of our collective mental health, yes. Maybe we're all more willing to assume responsibility for some of that. Yeah, that's for sure.

So the final question I wanted to pose is, you know, what, if listeners were to ask themselves one question, you know, what is one question you'd like to leave people with? How should they become introspectively? Curious?

Well, I think, you know, all of us have different opportunities.

At least the way my mind works, you know, it's like, Oh, I could do that, you know, my mind says, always creating things.

And lots of them, don't follow up on them, you know, and I either forget or whatever. And I guess I would just pose the question, you know, what is one small act, or action that you could take? Not that you're afraid of, necessarily, but it's just you haven't gotten around to it, or you haven't committed to, you know, make it happen to take the energy make it happen? That would potentially you don't know, but potentially could make a difference in your career in how you relate to people in in how you experience your daily work life? I would, I would encourage people to say, you know, what do I have? I thought about that, you know, I thought about a few times that I haven't done it, and it'd be good to do. And so that's my question.

And I think it very much dovetails with, as we talked about before the you matter marathon, I'm not even sure if this is something you're familiar with. But this started a number of years ago, and I guess we're up to somewhere between one and 2 million cards get distributed during this marathon month every November but then of course throughout the year in different ways and companies and schools and hospitals and you know very similarly and so the sight the importance of us acknowledging and appreciating each other, at work, at home, out in places with people we know and who serve us

and all kinds of ways and people we don't know. But we just encounter on the street, I know that all three of us, I'm going to venture to say have had experiences of being somebody's Angel one day, just saying or doing that thing that somebody needed to hear or needed to receive, or, you know, just to feel good about. And so this is really what this is about. And so I want to thank you for bringing this focus to bring in into the workplace, which is where people spend an enormous amount of their lives, but can somehow feel so disconnected from themselves because they don't receive this.

And we can know it has the added benefit of overall better performance across the organization to so thank you for everything you brought to the table. And

just one, one final statement, because lots of times, work with leaders that have good intentions,

I would just say a key that we found is just start somewhere with someone, and doesn't have to be spectacular, but just think of the person that if they didn't do what they do, your day would be a lot tougher, and communicate some things and appreciation for them. And it's a good place to start.

So thank you, and I'm gonna do that here for Amy, because Amy has added a you've added such a tremendous amount to this podcast over you know, the course of the last few months. And I'm really grateful for what your voice brings into the conversation that mine alone can't do. So thank you, Amy. Thank you for that. And thank you for everything you've taught me. And I could make a specific list, but I won't bore everyone with that. But thank you because I learned so much on every one of these. Dr. White, thank you as well. Yeah, my pleasure. If you're both hold on for one second, Amy has a wonderful challenge that we sometimes do. And she's pretty awesome at this. We're not going to go all the way around the circle. I don't think but you know, Amy, I love for you to pose a question that, you know, each of us will answer here, Amy is the master at this. She poses a question that has nothing to do with the topic that we've been talking about that just helps people to know us in a different way. So she is super fabulous Sufis, I'm going to ask her to throw those out with his work wrapping up here today. Yeah, this is just my own personal curiosity. And it actually does dovetail with the subject today.

Paul, you you talked about you and your wife using the reading the love language book several times. Can you tell me like one thing, share one thing with me that that changed in your marriage as a result, like an anecdote or stories, something you remember that came from the two of you reading the same content? Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, it's been very helpful for both of us, but especially for me, like I said, I feel a little learning disabled in the relational area with my wife, but, you know, her language is quality time, mine is words, and so I can praise her all the time with her. But I finally got it that, you know, I just need some focused attention with her. That's what she needs from me. And so that can either be taking a walk and talking about things or sitting longer at the dinner table after dinner's done, or go to the couch and chat a little bit. And it's amazing to me just because it's not my language, how much difference that makes in her response to me, and, and how she feels valued when I take time to do that. And when I don't, to be honest, I'm in deep trouble, usually, you know, so.

So it's pretty amazing how impactful it is.

And it's also to me, it's also so startling that it's something that we know, and we forget it, and we have to remember it, and we have to think of it in order for it to be effective. Yeah, thank you for thank you for sharing that personal story. So if you are listening today, consider yourselves reminded

ourselves reminded to bring your focus to something that maybe we know, and it is important for us to be reconsidering again and again. So thank you both to Dr. White and to Amy for bringing this conversation. And if you are listening to the podcast, stay with us. We're going to continue on this theme of talking about relate appreciation all throughout the month. And next week. We're gonna we're gonna be hearing from Lauren Kahn about rebalancing and relationships and the importance of appreciation as a component of rebalancing kind of just in time for the holidays when sometimes relationships go a little wonky. So we'll be talking about that we are continuing to be in the month of the you matter marathon. So continue to be sharing your cards sharing your sentiments throughout following us on Instagram. We'll be having content there as well and continue with us through the end of the month. Thank you for listening today.

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