Like all things dealing with nonverbal communication, it is always culturally specific, so we can interpret a smile in different ways around the world.
But for North America, Americans smile wider and more often than any other people, and that’s validated by research. So, be sure to smile when giving recognition to people in the U.S. and Canada.
And apparently, according to writer Olga Khazan from
The Atlantic, a Finnish individual posited on Reddit that, “When a stranger on the street smiles at you:
a. You assume he is drunk.
b. He is insane.
c. He’s an American.”
Sometimes senior leaders think all they have to do is tell their leaders to go out there and say, “thank you,” more often, and that’s all you have to do to improve recognition.
The key to learning to give real recognition the right way wherever you work is to not rely on telling people to give more recognition.
Like writing fiction stories, show, don’t tell, is probably the best advice for increasing recognition moments by managers.
How can you educate everyone to do more showing of recognition giving versus telling them?
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?
Ever receive a compliment from someone, or they say thank you to you, and you start questioning how sincere they really are with what they said?
While you might not be right all the time it seems science has picked up on this intuitive ability we have.
Karyn Fish, from McGill University, and her colleagues, outline in their
“The sound of (in)sincerity” research, how we have a pretty good ear for identifying genuine praise and recognition. (more…)
Make sure you smile when you’re recognizing a person.
That is what I often teach. Remember the importance of smiling when giving recognition to people and also when receiving recognition from others.
Perhaps I heard Nat King Cole’s song too often,
“ When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, The whole world smiles with you.”
In fact, William Arthur Ward, an assistant administrator of Texas Wesleyan College in the mid 1950’s, and one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims, penned the line,
“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
But is it?