Apr 15
acknowledgement versus recognition

Acknowledging Versus Recognizing Your People

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When we share a compliment or ‘recognize’ someone we are typically referring to what the person has done.

“Great job Jane” or “Good presentation John.”

While giving recognition is important, it has a short shelf-life and is often forgotten.

If you want to boost the value and impact of your recognition, be as specific as possible.

“Excellent report Jason, your writing style and approach to the report was very easy to follow. Your points were well researched, and your recommendations were aligned with the organizational strategy. It was very easy to envision the positive outcomes this will have for us.”

Leadership acknowledgement caring


Properly delivered acknowledgment extends beyond what the person did. It goes deeper and focuses on the personal traits and characteristics that enabled them to do what they did. The intent of acknowledgment is to shine a light on “who” they are instead of just complimenting them on “what” they did. When you acknowledge someone, you are saying “This is the person I see in you.”

Everyone one of us wants to be seen, heard and understood and acknowledgment is a powerful means to achieve this. The individual receiving acknowledgement is validated and feels pride. It could be said that one acknowledgement has the impact of 100 recognitions. It speaks directly to the individual’s core values that they hold so deeply and has a positive and lasting impact on this person.

You may even bring something out for the person they were unaware of resulting in greater confidence and self-esteem which is directly correlated to productivity, morale, loyalty etc.

As leaders, you can see the value of acknowledgement and it is important to note that for it to have the impact you seek it must be delivered with absolute authenticity and sincerity. This requires leaders to be vulnerable with employees, to engage proactively with empathy so you can understand what they value and what is meaningful to them.

When you deliver acknowledgement be sure to focus on the specific character trait or personal quality that impressed you. Share how this is valuable and what you respect about it. Keep it simple and to the point. Less is more.

“Great presentation John. It is unmistakable to me that you are a man of compassion and caring, not only was it evident in your presentation, it is present in how you show up every day. I want to acknowledge you for this and tell you what a positive impression you leave on everyone you encounter. I appreciate you being part of our team.”

 Ensure the person has heard and understood your acknowledgement before moving on.




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