A small acknowledgement = a BIG game changer

written by Erica Quam

I had a friend pick up the phone and call me yesterday to acknowledge me for an email that I had sent out.  She wanted to tell me that she was excited to see the progress I was making. She recognized I had followed through on things we had talked about and she had seen me take action and persevere.  She simply noticed - and wanted to let me know that she had noticed.

It absolutely made my day!  It really made an impact on me.  

When was the last time someone acknowledged you for something or vice versa...when have you acknowledged someone else?  

ac·knowl·edg·ment /akˈnälijmənt/ - the action of expressing or displaying gratitude or appreciation for something

An acknowledgement is different than a compliment.  Even though we all like to receive compliments, they can be short-lived and often forgotten about in minutes.  "Great job."  "Nice work today!"  They are usually about what someone has done.  

An acknowledgement goes deeper and the impact is long-lasting.  Tap into the reasonsbehind what a person has done...and how they were able to accomplish things.  You recognize a quality in them that you appreciate, are grateful for, or inspires you. 

Create a shift. Looking for positive qualities in people instead of searching for problems to be fixed, creates a significant shift in dynamics to create an environment of trust, respect, and growth.  That sounds to me like a place where people can really learn, grow, & excel!

To acknowledge someone:

1. Identify qualities that helped them to accomplish something: 
patience, dedication, commitment, perseverance, caring, thoughtfulness, creativity, initiative, enthusiasm, clear communication, or wisdom.

2. Keep it simple and to the point.  Shorter statements can make a big impact. 

3. Be honest and speak from the heart.  When you are
authentic with what you are saying, it deepens the impact and creates a lasting effect. 

What you give

You give the other person an opportunity to look in the mirror and see strengths or qualities that they may not recognize or have accepted in themselves.  

What you get

You get the gift of seeing someone else light up and then watch them as they move towards their full potential.  In a team environment, when you take the lead and acknowledge others, you may get more people following your lead, doing the same, and creating a ripple effect of lasting change!  It can be a total game changer!

It takes practice!

Giving and receiving acknowledgements can be hard. Especially for women.  When someone acknowledges you, it can be tempting to try to rack your brain to say something to them in return...to take the attention off of you and put it back on them.

The best way to receive an acknowledgement is to simply say, thank you!

Begin by acknowledging yourself each day (that takes it even deeper...) and THEN choose one other person to acknowledge for the next 7 days.  If it's someone far away, pick up the phone for a quick call (or leave a voicemail) instead of sending a text or an email.  

Notice the shift in you and the enthusiasm in them. When someone acknowledges you in return, simply say, thank you!

Have any thoughts, ideas, or ah-ha's? Share in the comments below.