Best Practice Behaviour / Work together in harmony

Five ways to give people some acknowledgement and recognition

Giving acknowledgement is more than just a nice thing to do.

Giving people some acknowledgement – for their efforts, deeds and achievements, for their honesty, kindness and help, for their suffering as well as their joy, for their needs, wants and beliefs, and for the situation and the parameters they need to work within – is a nice thing to do.

It can make people feel noticed, worthwhile and listened to. And it can really make their day and put a spring in their step.

But it can do more than that. It can also deliver rewards.

It can encourage them to continue to make an effort, be diligent and do good deeds. And in the right circumstances, it can encourage them to be more understanding, agreeable and even better behaved.

But rewards or not, what we really want to know is: What are some of the ways we can give it? So here goes.

There are five main ways we can give people acknowledgement.

What follows are five main ways we can give acknowledgement to people at home, at work, at social events and when we’re simply out and about.

If you can think of some more, please don’t hesitate to tell me about them. Anyway, we have to start somewhere and here’s my five. Enjoy.

1. Give them a compliment

…. about them personally (but please be careful because some people find it inappropriate to be given some types of ‘personal compliments’ by some people, in some settings) or for their efforts as well as their achievements.

  • For example: “Sue, you did a great job with the report.” and “Good morning everyone. I’m sure you all know Andrew from the front office. But what you mightn’t know is how his work and dedication has resulted in …….. “


2. Thank them

… for something they did or said which was kind, helpful, supportive or for simply ‘the right thing to do’. People can be thanked privately or in front of others and can also be given some form of reward.

  • For example: “John, thank you for helping Susan with her work yesterday. It was a wonderful thing to do.” and “Carol, thank you for completing these forms in advance. It’s really appreciated.”


3. Let them speak and show you’re listening

… by being physically present, by reflecting what they’ve said (word-for-word or paraphrasing) and asking for more information. It doesn’t mean you agree with them; it just means you’re paying attention.

  • For example: “Scott, finding out out like that must have been terrible.” and “Amanda, when you found out the work was unsatisfactory, what did you do?”


4. Show you’ve picked up on how they feel

… and if appropriate, empathise with them and their pain, pleasure, hopes and dreams.

  • For example: “Yes, the questionnaire is quite a long one.” and “Kevin, I can see how distressing it’s been for you.”


5. Tell them you understand their position

… but this does not necessarily mean you agree with it.

  • For example: “I understand you have a job to do.” and “I can see you’ve got a lot of pressure on you to get it done by 4pm.”


And to finish off, here’s a quick video

… in which I give a brief overview of the ‘big five’.

All the very best, Mark.