Do you like receiving recognition? I’ll bet you do. Me, too! Just about everyone I know appreciates a pat on the back once in a while. Recognition is emotional oxygen! That’s why it’s a leader’s greatest weapon in working with people.
I believe there are at least 3 RESULTS OF RECOGNITION. As a leader try to remember that…
1. WHAT WE RECOGNIZE, WE EMPHASIZE!
The #1 method for showing followers what you expect from them is to model the behavior yourself. The second best way is to offer recognition when they do it themselves!
Leadership expert, John Maxwell, teaches leaders to “catch followers doing something right”. Instead of noticing only when someone makes a mistake or does something the wrong way, make it a point to notice when they do something right. For example…
- When a child or teenager playing sports reaches down to help another player stand back up after they’ve fallen, applaud that young person’s good sportsmanship!
- When your employee handles a sensitive situation with a customer in a way that expresses and embodies your company’s core values, let them know how much you appreciate them for it.
- When you see your spouse working hard to make changes in their life to improve and work on the relationship, thank them for it.
Recognizing people is one way of checking in with them so they won’t check out. As Dr. Elmer Towns says…
Secondly, remind yourself that as a leader…
2. WHEN WE RECOGNIZE, WE EMPATHIZE!
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Dr. John Maxwell
Undercover Boss is a great reality tv show. One of the reasons people like the show is the premise behind it. The boss disguises himself/herself and goes to a location to work for a time in the position of one of his/her employees. By doing this the boss is able to see all that’s required for their employees to “get the job done”. Invariably, at the end of the show, not only does an employee walk away with a heightened sense that they’re cared for, but the boss walks away having gained a new perspective which produces more empathy for the “plight” of their employees.
Thirdly, as a leader try to bear in mind that…
3. WHO WE RECOGNIZE, WE ENERGIZE!
I believe that a compliment does much more than merely feed positive emotions, I believe it actually releases physical energy within the person receiving the recognition.
“Leaders incorrectly assume their most important leadership asset is their time. I humbly disagree. I believe it is a leader’s energy and ability to energize other people and new initiatives…What is unique about a leader is their energizing capabilities…Who or what are you energizing?” – Bill Hybels, Founding Pastor, Willowcreek Community Church
I believe that one of the surest ways to energize those you lead is by giving them recognition.
“I can live for two months on a good compliment” – Mark Twain