Are You Full of Good Intentions?

A peer you only occasionally work with has just recognized you.

They acknowledged you for your actions last week with helping them assist with a need from major client account.

You’re questioning the genuineness of the recognition eCard you received in your inbox. It was one of the options available through the company’s online social recognition program.

In fact, you’re even wondering about their intention.

Do ever question what your intentions are when giving people recognition?

Clarifying Your Intention

There are people who say not to judge people by their actions but to look at their intentions. Trouble is it is hard to know what people’s intentions even are in the first place.

Oprah Winfrey shared in a recent interview, “The reason for your intention will always shine through.”

If we are questioning someone’s recognition intention it is because their real purpose for their actions was not clear enough to shine through.

Was it their choice of words? How was it given? Did they give it soon enough? What was the context for the recognition? How did it make you feel when you received it?

Each of us must make it clear what our purpose is whenever expressing thanks or acknowledging a person for what they did.

It is telling a person the reason why you are giving recognition in the first place. Relay the difference they have made in your life. Share how the customer they helped benefited from their deeds and what that means to you personally.

Intentions Not Clear 

Too often our intentions are simply not clear.

The late, Wayne Dyer, wrote, “Our intention creates our reality.”

When the purpose for recognizing someone is not fully transparent, our caring actions, thoughtful attempts at the written word, or reaching out to connect, can all appear to be in vain.

The reality becomes clear when recipients of our recognition just don’t feel recognized.

Proper Intentions

What can we do to correct a negative or erroneous perception?

  1. Make connection with others. Most people won’t even raise their eyebrows or question our intention when recognition they receive is from people they already know, like and trust.
  2. Invest in people. Forming relationships with people takes time and effort. Some of us are better at doing this than others. But the fruits of making friends at work are huge. It helps us to develop rapport with people who are making important contributions with others in the workplace.
  3. What is your recognition purpose? Be grounded in your own attitudes and reasons for giving recognition and appreciation. If it helps, write out your personal purpose statement for giving recognition. Let this drive your actions.
  4. Connect the difference made. Be very clear in telling people specifically how their actions or contribution made a difference. How did it make a difference to you, a client, or the company? Too often we neglect to tell people this. No wonder they question our motives.

Never let someone have to question your recognition intention.

Question: How do you make sure your intentions are clear when you recognize others?

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.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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