Posts Tagged ‘acknowledgment’

The Best Play of the Year Goes Unnoticed All Too Often

I can’t tell you how many times I see this scenario play out.  My client this morning recounted an exciting moment and breakthrough with his boss.  His boss spoke in their meeting in a way that showed great clarity, leadership and vision.  My client reported that ,”it was a watershed moment” in the boss’ leadership.

My question –  Did you take time to acknowledge the boss so that he knows how great he did???

The answer (the same answer I hear way too often).  No I didn’t (acknowledge him).

This could be a great teaching and learning moment for the boss.  It could be a case of unconscious competent  for the boss. You know, that moment where he hit the target, and he’s not sure what he did to hit it.

So if my client goes back to his boss and acknowledges him (not a thank you, but an acknowledgement) the boss may have a chance to repeat the same action more often.

When anyone in your life; coworker, spouse, significant other, or child, does something that you think is great you should take the opportunity to acknowledge them for their success.  By acknowledging the behavior, and doing it in a way that is very specific, you take a giant step towards building their confidence and reinforcing the behavior.

Think about it.  How often do you make a conscious effort to acknowledge good effort from others?  Why don’t you do it more often?  What would be the impact if you were more mindful and deliberate about acknowledging right behaviors and techniques with others?  What would happen to your team?  What would happen to you as a leader?

Great coaching leaders are constantly acknowledging good behavior as a method of reinforcing and deepening the learning.  Acknowledgment is the positive side of feedback.  Coaching leaders are consistent and well versed in both the positive side (acknowledgment) and the constructive side coaching for performance.  A good balance of both will build stronger performance, loyalty and business results.

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.