Great Leaders Are Great at Recognizing People

You have probably already seen it in your organization.

There are some leaders—directors of departments or senior leadership team members—who not only stand out for what their employees achieve, but who know are great recognizers of their staff. Employees like and trust them and they produce top results because of how they are treated by their leader.

Why is it that great leaders are also great at recognizing people?

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Should Care and Concern Fall Under Recognition?

Is showing care and concern for our fellow employees an act of recognition or something completely different?

From my point of view, I have defined recognition as mostly an intangible expression of acknowledgement and valuing of an individual or team, for their positive behaviours, their personal effort, or contributions they have made.

By this definition, recognition occurs because:

(1)  Some positive action or specific positive behaviors have occurred by an employee on the job. 

(2)  You feel their actions merit you acknowledging and valuing them for who they are or what they do.

(3)  And, unlike rewards, you are not expecting the employee to do something in return just because you’ve recognized them.

So now, in response to a recent question asked of me, do you give recognition to people because they’ve experienced a positive life event or perhaps they’ve had some serious challenges?

Let’s examine this carefully.

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Make Sure You Care Before Giving Recognition

Too often we see people and ask the question, “How are you?” without really stopping to listen to the response.

You must learn to ask the question, “How are you?” and not only listen for what people say, but also watch for how they say it and the non-verbal cues of their real feelings.

Follow along and learn how to show care and empathy to employees so that they are more likely to believe the genuineness of your expressed recognition and appreciation. (more…)

Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

Walking the road to empathy is hard work

It was a Saturday and I had our four children all to myself. We were planning to exit the house for a while. This would provide some welcome relief for my wife who was then bedbound with her last pregnancy.

The older children were scurrying around and independently putting on jackets and running shoes and heading for the van.

Our youngest, our 3 year-old daughter, repeatedly asked me for help with tying up her shoes. She quietly said, “Daddy, can you help me put on my shoes?” (more…)