Free of charge, Simple to execute, Quick to implement; compelling reasons to use more acknowledgements in your leadership. Makes no difference whether you are leading a team of executives, line managers, school children, or family members. Everyone needs to be acknowledged; not only for what they did/do, but also for who they are. In coach training, I was taught to look beneath the action I saw a person take and look intentionally for the personal characteristic or attribute they possess, which enabled the action. For example, if I want to acknowledge a colleague for the great plan they helped me create for a client retreat, I could let them know that I appreciated the way they listened to the client’s needs and were committed to creating a meaningful experience for them. That acknowledgement will likely have more impact on my colleague then if I said, “Thanks for your help with the client retreat. I really appreciated everything you did to make it a success.”
When we take the time to give an acknowledgement in this way, we also make a deeper connection with the person we are acknowledging. A part of us opens up and we also receive benefit. It’s a cool paradox that we can’t give freely and authentically of ourselves without also receiving.
What is the most meaningful acknowledgement you’ve ever received? What was the impact it had on you? Mine was from a friend and colleague who once told me, “You are the most alive person I know.” This will always stay with me and help me stay connected to my core values of vitality and authenticity. I doubt she even realized the impact of her words at the time she offered them; perhaps I’ll let her know with an acknowledgement today 🙂
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