Posted on July 20, 2013 · Posted in Education

For a project manager good communication skills are essential. There are numerous tools to help you improve your communication skills.

One such tool is the book: “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” by Gary Chapman and Paul White.

The book is aimed at helping managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships and decreased cases of burnout.

For project managers it will help to identify an individual’s preference in the language of appreciation in order to communicate effectively to their team members.

Languages of Appreciation

According to the “5 Languages of Appreciation” there are five ways to show your appreciation in the work-place:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Acts of service
  3. Tangible gifts
  4. Quality time
  5. Touch (language of touch is less important in the workplace than in personal relationships)


The languages of appreciation in the workplace have shown to significantly improve relationships among co-workers and to make workplace environments more positive for all who work there. It will contribute to let team members remember projects as a positive experience.

Motivating through action

For each language of appreciation, there are specific actions that could be taken. Here are some good examples: (focusing on the first 4 languages only)

Words of Affirmation

  • Write me an email and acknowledge when I have done a good job.
  • Acknowledge my effort on a project, in the presence of my teammates.
  • Give our team a group compliment when we have done well.
  • Send me a text message after I have completed a task well.
  • Let me know when others have commented positively on my work.

Quality Time

  • Go to lunch together and not talk about business issues.
  • Stop by, sit down or have a weekly “check in” meeting to see how things are going.
  • Debrief a recently completed project with me.

Acts of Service

  • Help me get my computer to work correctly/more efficiently.
  • Assign someone to answer the phones so that I can complete reports tasks that require undivided attention.
  • When working on a time-sensitive project, protect my time from additional requests.

Tangible Gifts

  • Movie tickets.
  • Gift certificate for a bookstore or outdoor / sporting store.
  • Allow me to come in early and leave early that day.
  • Provide a special luncheon to celebrate an accomplishment by our team.
  • Register me for a conference or event.

Source: Action Template,

How to apply to your projects

Language of appreciation1-pmIn the book: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, you will find a questionnaire to discover your language of appreciation and the specific actions that uniquely encourage you.

In addition to the book, you will find on the website more resources to use. One such resource is the “Motivating by Appreciation (MBA) Inventory” tool to assess your team members in order to understand how to express appreciation that resonates with each individual. Each book purchased also comes with a code inside for one free MBA inventory.

You can create Action Items for the Group serving as a reminder of what to do to make your team members feel appreciated for their hard work and efforts.

When you team members feel valued and appreciated, good things will happen. There will be loyalty and commitment to the project, to the stakeholders, and to a successful outcome.

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