When you make a habit of acknowledging others, you naturally increase their engagement
Greatness – our own – often goes unseen when we find ourselves looking in the mirror for clues about who we are.
In general, we don’t tend to acknowledge great things about ourselves to ourselves, or even to others. Why is that?
I believe it’s because we’ve been raised in a society that tells us to not “brag” about ourselves. We’ve been taught that humility is a virtue [not that it isn’t] and that if we expect others to like and accept us, we must be modest and humble. This philosophy is extremely prevalent within the Latino culture. Growing up I heard the phrase, “No sea creida” over and over again from teachers, parents, family, and even friends. Unfortunately, this phrase can easily be translated into “Don’t believe in yourself” and I think in some ways that is the message many of us ended up with.
In our recruiting practice, we witness this phenomenon regularly when interviewing candidates for positions at all levels, from entry to executive. When it comes to the question, “Tell me what your top 3 strengths are,” too few know how to answer it powerfully.
In today’s high social media and online culture, there is a lot of information available for people to prepare for interviews, and so in this regard we have made a lot of progress. Still, the underlying issue, that we do not see our own greatness, keeps us small and ineffective in reaching our potential.
Acknowledging one’s own greatness is important because it inspires confidence, which is essential for success in any endeavor.
Can you imagine winning at anything without having confidence in yourself?
When I find that I am feeling low or being overly critical of myself, I quickly shift my attention towards remembering my accomplishments. Because we are quick to forget our own successes or to downplay them, it is important to record them in a journal. We recommend this to all professionals as it teaches them to flex the muscle of understanding personal and professional strengths. Once you truly understand what your strengths are you can begin to learn how to talk about them effectively and without a lot of ego.
Another idea is to keep a scrapbook of pictures and memorabilia from awards, accomplishments, promotions, notable projects, etc. It may seem silly but will come in handy when you are asked to talk powerfully about results you’ve generated in the past. A potential employer will view you as an asset if the investment they would make in you has a good chance of paying off. They will reason that if you’ve done great things in the past, you will most likely do great things in the future.
Acknowledging others is just as important as acknowledging yourself.
In the professional world, no other reason for quitting a job gets more cited than that of lack of recognition in the workplace. It’s bad enough when we don’t recognize ourselves, but when others do not notice us, it can be very damaging to self-esteem and as well, erodes confidence.
If you are in a supervisory or other management or leadership role, recognizing the strengths or efforts of others is critical to the successful results of your team. In one of our proprietary workshop exercises, we have witnessed that a volunteer’s level of enthusiasm and engagement will visibly increase when he or she is acknowledged or recognized for their efforts. Conversely, when that same volunteer is diminished in any way, their attitude becomes apathetic, gloomy and disengaged.
Regardless of whether you are in a management role or not, acknowledging others is a great way to build and nurture relationships, make a difference in another’s life, create an atmosphere of collaboration, and get what you want!
Next- Here are the six keys to acknowledge others: