Coaching Leaders give acknowledgments not thank yous

Acknowledgment is a form of feedback coaching leaders use to reinforce right behaviors, mindset and technique.  Many times we see “thank yous” handed out but they are not nearly as effective as a well constructed acknowledgment.

Let’s explore this further.  For demonstration, let’s pretend I am the leader of a team of project managers in a construction company.  At this morning’s meeting one of my project managers, Carl, spoke up and showed his support for the new project management software we’re trying to implement.

After the meeting I go to Carl and say that ”thank you for standing up and showing support for the new software I really appreciate that,” (a typical thank you handed out by a leader when they have the presence of mind to give a thank you).  Thank yous can be easily deflected by the recipient and have little impact.

Now listen to an acknowledgment:

I go to Carl and say, “I want to acknowledge you for showing your support of the new software.  By standing up, you demonstrated leadership and courage and commitment to our ongoing change initiative.  The difference that made was that it helped me as a leader and I’m sure helped convince others of the value of the new software.”

Acknowledgment focuses on the qualities someone demonstrated and the impact it has.  Unlike a thank you, a well-crafted acknowledgment is harder to quickly dismiss and reinforces the qualities you’re looking for in your team members.  Coaching leaders know the difference between acknowledgments and thank yous and use acknowledgements as one of their primary tools for building right behaviors and right mindsets.

Commit to practicing giving acknowledgements.  You’ll build better business results, lasting behaviors, loyalty and commitment from your team.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
  • Comments Off on Coaching Leaders give acknowledgments not thank yous