The Art of Recognition

Dan Moore, the President of Southwestern Advantage, enjoyed reading the last 3 blogs (that were inspired by his leadership principles) so much that he honored us with one of his legendary articles on Recognition.  Enjoy!

                     The Art of Recognition

Every human strives for different things in his or her life, but one of the common desires—perhaps THE greatest desire—is the desire to be recognized and appreciated. In an increasingly complex world, it is progressively easier for an individual to feel that what they do simply doesn’t matter. This can lead to feelings of insignificance; and people who feel insignificant DO NOT become world leaders in providing the ultimate in sales and service.

As a leader, you have an opportunity to help each of the people you lead feel more significant, more confident, and more capable. As their leader, you can increase their results temporarily by ‘motivating’ them to a higher level of activity, but you can increase their results permanently by increasing their sense of self-worth and competence. Best of all, you can do it with something that doesn’t cost a penny: effective praise and recognition.

If this is so effective, and so low-cost, why don’t leaders do it more? There are many reasons, but some of the most common include these misperceptions:

‘They shouldn’t need praise from me. They know their job is to sell, and when they have sold a lot they are doing their job. That should be enough.’  (But it’s not enough, is it, or they would be selling more)

‘Too much praise will make them complacent. They need to have a sharp edge if they’re going to succeed.’  (Sales professionals who feel good about themselves are much better able to make the consumer feel good about what they buy.)
 
‘Nobody praises me, and I’m doing all right.’ (To be given the opportunity to lead and manage is significant praise by itself.)

‘I’m too busy managing sales.’ (Usually, this means ‘too busy reading reports’ and spending very little time in one-on-one interaction with salespeople.)

In reality, one of the most common reasons praise and recognition aren’t given more freely is that the leader doesn’t know how to do so sincerely and motivationally. Praise and recognition are not the same as empty flattery or lightweight compliments. There is much more to it…

If you are enjoying what you’ve been reading, and think you’d like to hear about what we look for in people that we team up with and coach, fill out the following:

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