We all like to hear praise, that we did a good job. It makes us feel good. As a team leader I pay attention to my team and what they are doing. I like to tell them when they are doing a good job, but compliments fade quickly and sometimes sounds so superficial. There is a difference between recognition and acknowledgement.
When we give a compliment, we are speaking about what the person has done…like, "You did a great job running your meeting". Acknowledgement goes deeper and has a more powerful impact on the person receiving it.
In Principle-Centered Coaching from Build it Big, they calls this ICU Acknowledgement as in (I see who you are!). This goes beyond the person’s action to recognize the qualities and characteristics that enable that person to accomplish what they did. It recognizes inner character-who they really are-and meets that person’s basic need to be “seen“. Seen as a person who has talent, value and ability.
Recognition: “You ran a good meeting yesterday”
Acknowledgement: “Pam, as I watched you run your team meeting, I saw your ability to deeply listen to your team. Your openness and patience allowed team members to speak honestly, which in turn helps them grow”.
When you look for positive qualities in your team rather than looking for problems to solve, that creates a shift in the interpersonal dynamic and establishes an environment of trust and mutual respect.
I find, more often than not, people are not aware of their own strengths and what they can accomplish. As team leader, it is my job to coach and come along side and build up my team by revealing their strengths, qualities and capabilities they display. Sometimes, it is the first time they have heard about these qualities and it builds their self-esteem and can empower them to keep learning, growing and doing their best.
It also helps us as leaders too. It is so amazing to watch someone light up as they recognize their own greatness and move forward with new enthusiasm to reach their full potential…not with empty compliments but truths that will empower. I just love that!
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Reference Build it Big by Direct Selling Women’s Alliance, Dearborn Trade Publishing page 128/129