Appreciate and Acknowledge | FOW #20

showing appreciation with a card and flowers

Let people know your appreciation for the qualities that they possess. Being acknowledged for a task well done is important, being acknowledged for a character quality is lasting.

Who doesn’t like a “way to go” or “great job”?  Why are we so driven to want to know if we are doing a good job?  According to the author of Atomic Habits, James Clear believes:

 “Humans are herd animals. We want to fit in, to bond with others, and to earn the respect and approval of our peers. Such inclinations are essential to our survival. For most of our evolutionary history, our ancestors lived in tribes. Becoming separated from the tribe—or worse, being cast out—was a death sentence.”

When we hear we are on track it reinforces that we are part of the tribe. The threat of being kicked out is momentarily resolved as we look for the next opportunity to validate our valuable existence in whatever environment we find ourselves in. So, appreciation and acknowledgment are essential to our survival according to our brains. If this is true, then how can we sustain this acceptance?

At Momentum Consulting, we coach our executive clients that it’s not enough to tell someone “great job” or “nice work”. Those are fleeting comments that don’t stick with us very long. I would say it’s better than not saying anything; however, what would be more powerful? When you acknowledge the quality that a person is demonstrating it has a lasting effect. Here’s an example:

“I appreciate the level of organization and detail you provided in your report.  You really took the time to hear what I needed and were thoughtful in your execution. Thank you for your patience, thoroughness, and consideration.”

It’s important for a leader to tell their team what they did well and why they did it well.  If we let people know what qualities and behavior are favorable, we are giving them feedback for what works and assists in fast-tracking results.  Let’s not keep people guessing. Why wouldn’t we want our peers, our team, and even our leaders to know what keeps them in the tribe?

Have you ever noticed how we can be stingy with our acknowledgements? It’s like we only have a few to give out and then we run out. Guess what? Acknowledgments are abundant and free!! Share them, give them, and make sure they have meat!

“Here is a basic rule for winning success. Let’s mark it in the mind and remember it. The rule is: success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want is the support of others.”

Acknowledgement and appreciation are crucial in creating a supportive culture. I fully support you to acknowledge your tribe and remind them that they belong! How many thoughtful acknowledgements will you make this week? Count them up and comment below to share them with me!

In appreciation for your time,

Martha Lynn


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