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Learn how to create a more productive environment with this excerpt from "The Vibrant Workplace," a new book by psychologist Dr. Paul White.

bookVibrant: Full of energy and enthusiasm. Spirited, lively, energetic, full of life. The vibrant workplace connotes energy, positivity, and growth—characteristics we desire for the environment where we spend the majority of our waking hours.

A vibrant workplace isn’t a perfect, utopian organization that is without struggles or challenges. In fact, the vibrant workplace actually can exist in the same external conditions as a toxic workplace. But somehow, this particular culture has found ways to resist and repel negative influences, to train team members to build healthy internal processes, and to continually put forth positive energy toward the organization’s goals.

How does all this happen?

In The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, we identify five “languages”, and then give action steps for each one. The languages of appreciation are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts, and Physical Touch. We have found that each person has a primary and secondary language of appreciation. Our primary language communicates more deeply to us than the others. Although we will accept appreciation in all five languages, we will not feel truly encouraged unless the message is given through our primary language. When messages are sent repeatedly in ways outside of that language, the intent of the message misses the mark and loses the impact the sender had hoped for.

A healthy organization can’t develop without authentic appreciation-- a core component and driving force for a vibrant workplace to grow and prosper. Why is this so important? Because authentic appreciation:

  • Affirms the value of each member of the organization, helping them function better and grow in their competencies
  • Communicates directly at a personal level between team members, rather than the indirect impersonal messages typically sent in an unhealthy workplace
  • Serves as a “repellent” and protector against negative influences that can damage the members of the community

In the work I have done consulting around the country, I’ve observed some common obstacles to creating a culture of appreciation. These include lack of leadership from management, toxic workplaces, the challenge of unique settings and employee characteristics that create problems.

As you may already know only too well, not every organization jumps at the chance to personally, individually, express appreciation to their team. You may be part of one of those organizations. In my new book The Vibrant Workplace, you’ll learn to identify the most common obstacles to applying the 5 languages in the workplace and become equipped with proven strategies to be the “change agent” to help build a healthier workplace—where people feel truly valued. 

Author Bio: Dr.Paul White is an author, speaker and psychologist, who helps “make work relationships work”. He is the coauthor of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman and his book, The Vibrant Workplace, will release in April 2017. For more information, go to

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