Leadership Tip of the Week

Give and receive recognition powerfully!


When you recognize or give praise to others:

  1. Be specific. “Thank you for the thorough job you did on the quarter-close financial report” is much better than “Thank you for your hard work and great support.” It shows you know what the person actually did. It gives credibility to your recognition and thanks.
  2. Be Personal. “Mark, Linda and Joyce – your contribution to our discussion about the budget at yesterday’s meeting helped us solve some really thorny issues.” Rather than, “Thank you for giving good ideas yesterday.”
  3. Be timely. Thanking people for all their hard work last year is OK, but thanking them at the end of each day or week or month and calling out specific work on individual projects is most impactful.
  4. Be generous. You can thank the same people multiple times, even every day if they are doing a great job in some area. Don’t be stingy or be stopped by the thought “Well, I already thanked them for this yesterday.” Remember, recognition is not about information or data it’s about touching people. The more you do that the better.

When you receive recognition or praise from others:

  1. Open your ears and heart. The worst thing you can do when people recognize or praise you is to deflect it. Saying things like “You shouldn’t have”, or “What I did wasn’t such a big deal” deprives you of the gift of recognition and deprives the person recognizing you of making a difference.
  2. Listen generously, then say “Thank you!” When someone is recognizing or thanking you, regardless of what you think or what your cynical or sarcastic or critical inner voice is saying just stay quiet, listen and then say “Thank you!”
  3. Let it in. Again, no matter what your inner voice is saying to you when someone is recognizing, praising or thanking you, take on the perspective that they are 100% right and accurate about you. Let their recognition in, learn from it, grow from it and make sure to be empowered by it.

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