The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White. Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2011.

We teachers and parents are in charge of much of the motivation of students, so learning the best ways to show appreciation for the efforts of the students and parents we teach is vital. In this book, part of Chapman’s Love Languages series, the five methods of indicating that you value a person’s work, dubbed “languages of appreciation,” are listed as words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, tangible gifts, and physical touch. In teaching, as in parenting, there is no “one size fits all.”

Just as every person has different amounts of reliance on their five senses, every person has preferred ways of giving and receiving appreciation. The sensitive teacher can pick up on clues in the child’s and parent’s words or actions to help clarify the best way to make them feel appreciated and valued. For instance, the child who acts impatient or uncomfortable when her hand is touched is probably not going to rate physical touch as her favorite motivation.

The book also includes a chapter on possible ideas and solutions for when you honestly don’t value someone’s work, and several quick lists and/or summaries at the end of each chapter.

Parents and teachers can benefit from this book, which is well-organized with headings and thumbnail facts so that anyone can read it and then easily refer back to it. By teaching the reader how to affirm others, the authors have given the reader a priceless gift.