The siamang gibbon and unconditional love…

Over the weekend, we visited the Cotswold Wildlife Park. In the interest of clear communication, I informed our three children that we would not be visiting the gift shop on our way out. Feeling quite smug about this foresight, I settled into enjoying the surprises of the park, particularly the Siamang, a type of gibbon with a legendary call.

However, as our visit drew to a close, Jenson’s behaviour began to change. He repeatedly asked why he wasn’t allowed to go to the gift shop. Recognising this tactic from him, I stood firm, which only made him dig his heels in further. Eventually, his disappointment led to me taking him back to the car to wait out his unravelling.

The Five Love Languages ®

Upon reflection, I realised his reaction was far stronger than the situation warranted. It dawned on me that a Love Language® might be at play. According to Dr Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages®, people give and receive love in different ways. The five love languages are:

  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Physical Touch

While my top love language is words of affirmation, I suspect Jenson’s primary love language is receiving gifts. Therefore, not receiving a gift might make him feel unloved.

This isn’t born out of materialism; he cherishes the pen drawings I make in his birthday cards. It’s the thoughtfulness behind the gift that matters to him. In that moment, we were on completely different communication planes, so I felt a strong need to remind him that he is loved no matter what. This is true unconditional love, where there are no silent rules or expectations.

Why, What, How, What If

The same principle applies in the workplace. Perhaps you are communicating what you need from someone, but in order for the other person to get on board, they firstly need to understand why it is important to the overall big picture. If you are unsure, give them the why, the what, the how, and provide space for them to ask the what if questions.

Hear how Dr Judith Simon transformed her interview question responses using this exact technique on the Women In STEM Career & Confidence podcast iTunes / Spotify.

Keep Opening Up,


Keep Opening Up,


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🎙️Listen to the latest episode of the Women in STEM Career & Confidence podcast 🎙️

Lily Satterthwaite is a Regional Lead at Microsoft, the Global Technical Women Committee Lead and a Board Member of the Asian & Social Mobility ERG.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Lily’s top tips for negotiating salary and compensation packages
  • Developing a team charter when working across time zones to ensure you don’t end up working all the time
  • Managing menopause in the workplace and advocating for more allyship and support
  • As a leader, your voice really matters and what we don’t say also speaks volumes.

Tune in on your favourite platform 🎧 iTunes 🎧 Spotify 🎧 Other Platforms.