Give recognition that is special.
When you give recognition to someone, more often than not, it is a total surprise. Give it in a meaningful and effective way. Giving Rrecognition should be exciting.
People from around the world with completely different occupations desire to feel appreciated for who they are and recognized for what they do.
So, how do you show genuine enthusiasm whenever you’re giving praise and recognition to others?
Evaluate The Quality of Your Recognition
Sit down with your staff and during a one-on-one meeting and tell them you want to improve how you give recognition to everyone. Ask them for their specific feedback on the recognition you give to them. Ask them for comments they might have heard from their peers about the recognition you give. What’s the consensus on how good of a recognizer you are?
Find out if they think you show genuine excitement and enthusiasm when recognizing employees for their positive contributions and performance.
Nonverbal Aspects of Enthusiastic Recognition
Our Voice Is A Great Communicator
The essence of giving real recognition is transferring positive emotions and feelings from one person to another. We mostly show enthusiasm and positive feelings through nonverbal communication skills.
For example, you can convey positive emotions through your voice when speaking your recognition. They have studied our sense of hearing for voice to be even stronger than sight in accurately detecting emotions.
Scientists at Yale University School of Management found that people are more accurate in determining people’s emotions from hearing their voice than looking only at their facial expressions, or even see their face and hearing their voice. The voice tells all.
If you don’t know already, you can easily detect enthusiasm and excitement in a person’s voice because they naturally speak with a higher high-pitched than normal and at a more rapid rate of speech.
It gets even more interesting.
The act of Vocal Emotion Recognition, as it is known in social science, lights up a separate region of the brain than the region required for Facial Recognition of Emotion.
When two people talk and truly understand each other, functional MRI brain imaging studies suggest something spectacular happens. The brains of these two individuals literally synchronize. It’s as if they’re dancing in parallel. The listener’s brain activity mirrors that of the speaker’s voice with just a short delay.
That is the recognition we should all be aiming for. It’s the kind of communication that leads not only to better relationships but more compassion, too.
Our Eyes Reveal Our Feelings
Another way to show more enthusiasm with the recognition you give people is through your eyes.
Where culturally appropriate work on using eye contact whenever you’re giving real recognition that emotes.
By definition, eye contact means gazing directly at another person’s eyes while speaking to them. Mutual eye contact occurs when two people make eye contact simultaneously. That’s what you’re aiming for.
When two people are in casual conversation, the rate of eye contact occurs about 61 percent of the time, and about half of that is mutual eye contact. People tend to make eye contact 75 percent of the time while listening and typically only 41 percent of the time while speaking. That’s why it is so important to concentrate on making eye contact when giving recognition because it is not customary to make mutual eye contact when speaking.
While people spend more total time looking in the eyes of another person when listening than speaking, the length of their gaze also varies.
We make long gazes with conversational partners and look away only briefly when we are listening. And we make shorter gazes of about equal length, both at and away from our conversational partners, when we’re doing the talking.
The Russian Writer, Sholom Aleichem who wrote about Tevye the Dairyman from which the musical Fiddler on the Roof was based, once wrote that “When the heart is full, the eyes overflow.”
Let your voice carry and your eyes reveal the enthusiasm and feelings you have when recognizing and appreciating people and their contributions.
Recognition Reflection: Do you think you are you an enthusiastic recognizer?
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.