Each of you likely have defining moments when a subtle, but very personal and powerful statement of recognition was directed towards you in appreciation of your efforts. In your recollection of that moment, you still feel good about it years later. This particular compliment has produced a lasting impact for you and your work. A powerful moment was created with you through a simple recognition statement.
There is well-researched science for creating moments of powerful recognition.
From the work of Chip and Dan Heath, there are four essential elements for creating these powerful recognition moments:
- Elevation- break the script, spontaneous
- Insight- from personal experience, genuine
- Pride- in the accomplishment, specific difference you made
- Connection- deeper emotional message, shared appreciation
Organizational recognition programs, generally set at five year service increments, miss the mark completely. I’ve had several of these and I have never once felt a sense of accomplishment picking an appliance or office gadget out of a catalogue by myself. Annual performance appraisals are another “planned” opportunity to recognize and reinforce staff. Again, these generally miss the elements necessary to create any sort of a powerful and lasting moment.
On Monday of this week, a reader shared with me a communication she had with a co-worker of theirs. This person shared this communication to intentionally create a moment of recognition with me. It was spontaneous, it was genuine and it was very specific to the differentiation I work to create in writing each weekday. The communication the reader shared from her co-worker was simply this:
“It is like the author had been a fly on the wall during our conversations!”
One reinforcing piece was simply being referred to as an author (a first for me). A second reinforcer was that this reader had identified that a specific post, offered on a specific day, with a specific emphasis that would activate her reflection for learning and applying what she was learning. An “author” rarely knows if the message will create the impact they are writing for. Here it was a great start. The reader of course shared that appreciation with me in forwarding the communication of this brilliant, applied learning co-worker. The best favors can never be repaid, but I will try.
There is great significance in creating powerful moments of recognition for one another. Both parties will feel better and accomplish more from the effort. Recognition is also contagious. Take a moment today, featuring each of the four elements, to make a powerful moment for another.