Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

Author: Gary Chapman and Paul White  

Title: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

Description (source): The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace applies the love language concept to the workplace. This book helps supervisors and managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout. Ideal for both the profit and non-profit sectors, the principles presented in this book have a proven history of success in businesses, schools, medical offices, churches, and industry. Each book contains an access code for the reader to take a comprehensive online MBA Inventory (Motivating By Appreciation).

The inventory is designed to provide a clearer picture of an individual's primary language of appreciation and motivation as experienced in a work-related setting. It identifies individuals' preference in the languages of appreciation. Understanding an individual's primary and secondary languages of appreciation can assist managers and supervisors in communicating effectively to their team members.

ARC source: netgalley

Writing style: The authors are annoyingly redundant. If a concept is clearly explained for one “language,” it doesn’t need to be explained in similar detail for the other four. Likewise, the reader tends not to forget from chapter to chapter, so we don’t need an entire recap. I think this book was at least three times longer than it needed to be.

Audience: Business people who like this kind of flavor-of-the-month management self-help. Love languages fans. Neither one is me.

Major ideas: The “love languages” idea has made Chapman a household name (and rich) over the last few years, and most denizens of evangelical bookstores are at least familiar with the concept. Signals can get crossed when we don’t communicate our regard to people in the way that they most want to hear it. This book adapts that concept for the workplace, with mixed results. The languages are words of appreciation, acts of service, tangible gifts, and quality time. Physical touch is listed as a parenthetical addition; for obvious reasons, many people are uncomfortable with physical touch in the workplace.

Wrap-up: In addition to the problems I had with this book that I’ve mentioned above, there were some other 
problems with the kindle ARC from netgalley. There was no code to take the assessment, so no way to judge this tool that’s referred to on at least every other page. Then the text was so badly arranged that the book was just a headache to read. Here’s a typical bit:
Staff doesn’t feel appreciated bysu
They couldn’t pay me enough to stay here. The lack of support is deafening.”
                Pervisors and coworkers. Most supervisors are not aware of this factand thus,
Theyfocusmoreonthepowerof financial benefits
Etc. etc. Yuck! An ARC with a few typos is one thing, but this thing literally had lines with no spaces, dozens of times. I’d recommend this book if you really need to affirm your co-workers and you’re sort of slow to get the idea. Otherwise, read the synopsis and go find something more worth your time. 1/5


  1. Wow! That is really bad formatting, etc.! Also, I'm pretty sure I'm not their target audience either so won't be reading this one.

  2. I saw one of the authors (Paul White) give a presentation recently, and I thought the concept was a really good one. I haven't read the book yet, but it's n my list. I hope the hard copy I have is formatted better than your Kindle edition.