What About Levels of Skill In Giving Recognition?

Each of us has varying levels of confidence and proficiency with being able to recognize those you live with and especially those you work with.

For some, they had upbeat and positive parents, teachers, and coaches, who inspired them to grow and be successful. They regularly received words of encouragement, appropriate praise, and recognition for their accomplishments.

Others had life situations where they always needed to overcome negativity, received put downs at school, and a lack of sincere concern for the welfare of others. Even where they worked had toxic bosses and a lack of appreciation for their contributions.

No matter the route you took in life, or the role models you had in your life, they now expect you appropriately praise and recognize your employees.

But we all have different abilities and attitudes around giving meaningful and effective recognition.

What can we do?

Recognition Ability and Attitude 

An index card fell on the floor as I was cleaning out an old file box today. Instantly, I recalled the 2 x 2 matrix model I had drawn years ago when I first heard Nido Qubein speak in Washington, DC. I met Dr. Nido Qubein, when he was a professional speaker when I attended a National Speakers Association convention. I listened to his motivational recordings after attending his presentations. Now he is the president of High Point University in North Carolina.

It was at one of these learning sessions where he drew this 2 x 2 matrix on a flip chart which he referred to as Levels of Skill, which could apply to any skill or competency. Since then, I have appended his model with some additional labels to make it easier to understand. The horizontal X axis I refer to as Attitude around recognition giving, and the vertical Y axis is Ability to give recognition.

Levels of Skill Model

Ask yourself (and you can use this model ask others) whether you do well at giving recognition. Also ask yourself if you like giving recognition to people. Based on this simple self-analysis, you look to the four boxes of the matrix to see what you need to do to improve your recognition skill level. Each box contains a single word providing the recommendation for your skill level.

Box #1: “I Do Well/I Like To Do”

Let’s say you do well at recognizing others and you also like to do it. Instead of ignoring your good abilities and positive attitude towards recognition, the key focus for you to maintain your skills.

Maintaining skills requires exercising of skills, learning new methods and techniques, monitoring of growth and progress, and accountability for applying your maintained and newly updated skills.

 Box #2: “I Do Well/I Don’t Like To Do”

There is the off chance that you actually do a pretty good job at giving recognition, but that you don’t likedoing it, for whatever reasons. Here, you require motivation to reinforce your abilities and the priority this is in your organization.

Motivation is an inside job. As you increase the use of your skills with recognition giving, be sure to record the effect your actions have on the people you recognize. Observe your own personal feelings with recognizing people. The positive feelings you have for expressing praise and appreciation to others will influence you to feel more motivated to give genuine recognition.

Box #3: “I Don’t Do Well/I Like To Do”

You could be someone who is lacks confidence in your ability to recognize peers or direct reports, but you really see the importance of recognition and like doing so when it goes well. In this scenario, you need education to improve your abilities and confidence in giving meaningful recognition.

Use whatever your preferred method of learning is to improve your recognition skills. Read books like my Practicing Recognition or those from other authors. Others may need some online learning, or webinars like we have here.

Box # 4: “I Don’t Do Well/ I Don’t Like To Do” 

Hopefully, you’re not a person who does not do well at recognition and doesn’t like to do it. The only option available here is you need to change—change your attitude and change your abilities with giving real recognition.

If you follow and implement the above three recommendations, you should be much more open to changing your lack of recognition giving. What I can assure you, is that if you look for the good things going on around you and improve your ability to give meaningful and effective recognition, you will become a magnificent recognizer of good people doing great things. 

Assess which level you feel you are at today and begin by reading the hyperlinked blog posts for reference and working on the recommendation associated with the box in the Level of Skills matrix.

Recognition Reflection: Which level did you find your abilities and attitude at for giving amazing recognition?

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