Have you ever read about Five Love Languages? While it’s usually a tool used to strengthen marriages, at its core it’s just about how different people receive love in different ways.
So this November, as we all get our friendly yearly reminder to thank our leaders and hosts in big, meaningful, extravagant ways, let’s take a cue from the Love Languages to make sure that our teams can RECEIVE the love and appreciation that we are trying to send them.
The best way to utilize the love languages is to get to know our leaders and hosts, understanding what they need personally. Then we can continually build them up individually in the way that they’re most likely to hear it loud and clear.
And since one of the 5 Love Languages is physical touch, we’ll skip that and leave it for the marriage counseling…
Here are the FOUR big ways we can make sure our teams feel appreciated and noticed this holiday season.
Words of Affirmation
Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Our words mean a lot to everyone we lead. But for some people on our teams, they mean even more than that. If we don’t intentionally and clearly communicate our appreciation, we can never expect our teams to really know how important they are! Before the end of the year, make it a goal to verbally (or with a handwritten note) affirm everyone on your team individually! Be specific, be prolific, be personal. Team-wide communication matters too, but a personal note or message makes a much larger impact. You won’t regret the effort you put in!
Just like marriages need date night, your teams need your time too. It doesn’t have to be all the time. It doesn’t have to be wildly helpful or planned out. Just spend time with your people. Time is one of the most valuable things in our over-crowded and busy world, so invest something truly valuable in the lives of your leaders and hosts. Give them an hour of time, and it will pay off big in the long run.
For anyone that loves gifts, it really is the thought that counts. The mere act of getting someone a Starbucks gift card, a funny mug that reminded you of them, or an Amazon gift card for a well-known Amazon junkie, speaks volumes. It can cost the same amount as the lunch that you’d buy for the person who loves quality time, but fo the right person, it means so much more. When you find out someone is a gift person, don’t discount it – leverage it. That small but thoughtful investment in the right place goes a long way.
Acts of Service
Groups are naturally a primary avenue of care for the people in our churches. So it should also be natural that when our leaders need care, we are the first ones to respond. But it doesn’t have to be a crisis for you to serve those you lead. Help someone with a big house project. Make someone dessert and surprise their family with it. Go by before their group one week and help them clean the house! Get creative and serve your team in unexpected ways.
Gratitude and appreciation should be one of the primary ways we interact with our teams the whole year if we want leaders that remain energized and excited to serve. Get to know your leaders and hosts well enough that you can show them your appreciation in the way that they receive it best.