One of the biggest things you can do is to recognize another person. By recognizing them, I mean that you really see what value they bring to the project, the team and the world. One of our purest needs is to feel appreciate for what we are contributing. Once we feel appreciated we will contribute more.
What can you do to better recognize those around you?
1. Talk to Them: Ask them about a time when they felt appreciated by someone else. What did the other person or people do? When did they do it? Who did they do it in front of? What made it feel authentic and genuine?
2. Look at What They Do: Watch for the other person’s value set. What do they do to show appreciation? Do they send an email, get a special gift, write a note or do they stop and say a warm, specific thank you? Whatever it is that they are doing is likely what they want people to do for them.
3. Find Their Gift: Focus on what people are doing well instead of what they are not doing. Before you see each person think about what they add to the team. This might be that they are the “hole poker” that always tries to make sure that you cover all of your bases; the person that always says what others are thinking but are afraid to say; maybe they make everyone feel included in the process or they are five steps ahead of the rest of the team. Whatever their gift happens to be, focus on it before you see them. The energy that you have towards them will come through in your non-verbal communication thus they will feel your appreciation, not just hear words around it.
4. Look at How Far We Have Come: Most leaders are results focused. They are happy when goals are met but their make-up is naturally going toward “That is great, now what about this?” For other personality types this can be disconcerting because their leader never seems to celebrate what has been accomplished. It starts to feel like whatever their efforts are, they aren’t enough. Be sure to stop and take time to look back over the last year, month or week and acknowledge what the person or the team has accomplished. “We started with sales here and now because we implemented xyz, we are here. Wow, look how far we have come!” or simply wait until the next conversation to move them to the next thing.
5. Inspire via the Big Vision: Help people stay connected to the big vision so they know what they are working toward. It helps them see that they are involved in something that is bigger than they are. They feel recognized because they are apart of the “we” that is getting the whole to something amazing.
This month I challenge you to set your intentions on recognizing others. Remember to think of what they need instead of what you would need. Try 1 or 2 of the above. I look forward to hearing how it goes!