WHAT APPEARS TO BE
A recent study revealed that over 60 percent of employees receive no feedback for the job they are doing. Hmmm. Do you suppose this number is related to the fact that 72% of the workforce is either disengaged or actively disengaged?
How often are you acknowledged by your supervisor? And the more important question: how often do you provide an acknowledgment to your supervisor and those around you?
WHAT MIGHT BE
“I don’t think it is necessary to compliment someone when they do a good job. I hired them to do a good job,” states a recent participant in a session. “Why give them a compliment for doing what we’re paying them to do?”
To some this may seem logical. To many it’s disturbing. Is it possible that a person who is unable to acknowledge others cannot do so because he or she is not comfortable with him or herself? Is the person who dwells in this ‘might be’ world someone who is concerned that by building the esteem of another that they diminish their own esteem, stature, or ‘position of power’? Ironically, if this is the case, is it possible these people actually lose their power — literally remain handicapped — in their efforts to create a more functional workforce, because they are unwilling or unable to acknowledge others?
“I don’t have time to acknowledge others,” one might say. If this is true, the argument can be made that such a person doesn’t have time to be critical of others as well. This argument holds as much water as a table fork.
Perhaps people don’t acknowledge others because they are concerned that they will build the egos of others to a degree where the ego becomes an intrusion on progress. Let’s consider this argument for a moment. This means that in the effort to create an ego-free work place, this person chooses to crush confidence and self-reliance. (Note the disengagement research above.) These crusaders against egos must come off their horse then and no longer complain about people who are not accountable, confident and self-starting — for the crusader against egos has trained them to be so.
There’s a difference between arrogance and confidence. And we decide which we build in others by the type of feedback we give others.
WHAT CAN BE
A participant shared on the first day of training, “I’ve been here eleven years and never once has my boss acknowledged me.” Two days later this same person slowly raised their hand and shared, “I’ve been here eleven years and never once have I acknowledged my boss.”
This is a person who made the shift in understanding that there is always a ‘return on investment’ in leadership. Everyone knows that when you smile at someone on the street the other person almost always smiles back. The same law guides our language as well. When we acknowledge others, we almost always get acknowledged in return. Leadership is LEADership — it doesn’t wait from someone else to take an action first.
There is a difference between a compliment and an acknowledgement. The people that live in the “what might be” world confuse the two. According to Webster, a compliment is “an admiring remark.” An acknowledgment is “a recognition of act or achievement.”
Those who live in the ‘can be’ world see what’s possible by giving acknowledgments that are sincere, specific, and selective. These are people who literally alter the future course of actions in others by clarifying focus through acknowledgments. These are people who — not in a manipulative way, but in a building/developing manner — see the greatness in others. Then, by acknowledging them, they bring that greatness out to a degree that the rest of the world can see it. These are people who lead.
What is the difference between what ‘might be’ and what ‘can be’? You decide.