The Power of Acknowledgment
By Gregory Alford, MS. Psy.
One of our deepest needs is to be acknowledged. Unfortunately, it’s a skill few people have. As a result, we don’t acknowledge others, or ourselves, very often. This is our loss. But it is a skill that can be learned!
When you acknowledge, you draw attention to something wonderful about a person. When done appropriately, it strengthens relationships and builds trust. It can be verbal, or written, and is often most appreciated when done publicly (especially at work).
- Occurs after action (ideally immediately)
- Highlights good deeds
Recall a time when you received sincere acknowledgment and notice how good it still makes you feel. Now, recall when you completed a project there was no acknowledgment. Big difference – isn’t it? This is why behaviors we regularly acknowledge generally increase over time.
Self-Acknowledgement is also vital
Since so many people are unskilled acknowledging others, there are times when the kindest thing you can do is congratulate yourself. This can help avoid disappointment, frustration or even anger that might follow times when your contributions or accomplishments go unrecognized.
Take a deep breath, let go of negative feelings and acknowledge yourself, out loud, several times if you want to! Then, acknowledge those who supported you. Top it off with a celebration of your choice.
So, your challenge today and everyday is to catch someone in the act of doing good and acknowledge them. You will discover it makes everyone’s day!