The Orange County Chapter of the Project Management Institute held its September book club meeting on Thursday, September 21st, 2023. The group discussed the book “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” by Gary Chapman and Paul White. 

The meeting was held virtually via Zoom with several members in attendance. After a brief icebreaker, the moderator, Nam Nguyen reviewed the agenda for the one-hour discussion.

Overall, the members responded positively to the book’s premise that everyone has a preferred “language” for receiving appreciation and recognition at work. The 5 languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts, and Appropriate Physical Touch.

One member shared that they saw a lot of value in learning that there are different ways people like to be shown appreciation, noting it makes them want to be more aware of how they recognize others.

The group discussed the differences between receiving appreciation from peers versus managers. They also talked about the distinction the book makes between recognition and authentic appreciation. It was generally agreed upon that authenticity made all the difference in giving appreciation; the more sincere someone is while being appreciative, the more effective the gesture is.

There was some critique of the book being an adaptation from the authors’ original work on love languages. The members also debated the appropriate use of physical touch as an appreciation language in the workplace.

In the end, the attendees agreed the concepts would be useful for them as project managers. One member pointed out that showing team members sincere appreciation is a great motivator.  

For the next meeting, the book club will discuss “The Accidental Agile Project Manager” by Ray W. Frohnhoefer. The virtual discussion will be held on November 16th at 6pm via Zoom.

Content Contributor: Roderick Conwi
Roderick Conwi PMP
Freezepoints eMagazine Publications Team PMI Orange County
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