We live in a busy work world. This is especially so if we are remote from our bosses. You can be ploughing along with your daily tasks, helping colleagues with their unique requests of us, and somehow you lose site of the contributions you’ve made.
Each of us wants to make a difference and share in helping our company achieve its purpose and goals.
But are you sometimes getting in the way of others recognizing you?
Hard to believe isn’t it. However, sometimes you and I actually stop people from giving us the very thing many of us want and crave for – recognition!
Idea #1: Keep a Progress Record of Your Contributions
Because I belong to professional associations I have to regularly keep record of books and articles read, conferences, course and seminars attended or taken, articles written, learning presentations made, and all other proof of practicing my profession in a positive way. It was quite surprising to see how all the things I have done add up. But, in the same way, it is also easy to forget what you’ve accomplished over time.
Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, Harvard Business School professors, describe in their book “The Progress Principle” how if people record their progress they are making with meaningful work they will feel more productive and happier.
While your peers and managers may see or know what you are doing it is best to be prepared and relish in writing down all you have accomplished. Then you will be better prepared for those one-on-one calls or face-to-face and virtual meetings to share all you’ve been doing when it seems appropriate.
Start your logbook now and enter your contributions and accomplishments in to it on a weekly basis. Then you will be prepared to tell others of the progress you are making
Idea #2: Just Say, “Thank You” and Learn to Zip the Lips
Tell me if you’ve seen something like this happen. A person receives recognition, praise or acknowledgment for what they have done following which the recipient says classic lines like, “Oh, it was nothing” or “I was just doing my job” or other comments akin to these.
When someone takes the time and effort to appreciate you and recognize your contributions, learn to receive such commendation with respect and dignity.
At first, you may still have a hard time accepting recognition gracefully. My recommendation to you is to simply say, “thank you” and learn to the zip the lips. Don’t let any deflective or negative comments come out of your mouth that could negate the recognizer for giving you the recognition you deserve.
As you get used to no longer saying negative comments you can become a little more creative and add the recognizer’s name at the end of your “thank you.”
And please don’t forget the positive non-verbal acceptance behaviors of smiling, keeping your head up, and where socially appropriate, looking the person in the eyes.
Don’t stop someone from giving you recognition!
Idea #3: Share Something You’re Proud About
They’ve been doing this in elementary schools for years – show and tell. For some reason they stop doing this as soon as children move up to middle and high school.
Those young children are super proud and happy to bring in their favorite toy, a cute pet, or something new and meaningful – even a parent with a special talent or occupation – to share with their class mates.
By the time kids move on from elementary school you are told not to boast or gloat over your achievements. No more show and tells.
But there is wisdom with sharing with your boss or even your colleagues, exactly what you are doing. Too many times our jobs grow and expand way beyond what was written in the job description. By sharing with your manager a recent accomplishment you get to hear their feedback, they better appreciate what you are doing, and you feel proud and pretty good about all you’ve done.
Without any one-upmanship attitude, sharing with peers is a chance to demonstrate new things you’ve been doing, gain valuable perspective from them, and perhaps gain some collaborative and innovative input and ideas. When others reciprocate by sharing what they have done you create a more transparent and open environment in the workplace.
Share the good things happening at work you are proud of.
Try these three simple ideas to keep the recognition coming in your life at work.
Question: How do you make sure to positively accept the recognition given to you?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.
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