Coffee Conversations Ep. 2: A Recipe for Recognition

April 27, 2020
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller

Everybody wants to know that who they are and what they do matter.

That’s why recognition and celebration is one of our most abundant resources at Barry-Wehmiller. We recognize and celebrate people because we want them to know that they matter.

We all have a need to be recognized – not only at work, but at home. But, as a leader, how often do you take the opportunity to celebrate the lives in your span of care?

And why do you do it? To motivate them so they’ll be more productive? Or because they reached a goal? Is recognition an obligation because its expected of you? Are you just following the rules of a company program?

Or do you do it because it's the right thing to do?

We often say on this blog that if you simply use recognition as another management tactic, you’ll never experience its true value: knowing that you’ve touched the life of another person.

This episode of Coffee Conversations will walk you through a recipe for recognition. Hopefully, it will help you realize that this most important aspect of leadership is not only a satisfying meal, it’s good for you too!

Here's more from Coffee Conversations host, David VanderMolen, a former professor in Barry-Wehmiller University and a communication thought leader:

Recognition often gets a bad rap.

People tend to minimize the power of recognition and the practice of praising people and/or people’s performance; yet the reality is everyone needs recognition because it is a requirement for having rich relationships at home and at work.

There are two questions to ask to better understand the power of recognition:

1) When is recognition required?
2) How do I recognize others?

When to Recognize. There are three occasions when it’s important for me to recognize the people in my span of care:

Example: I recognize people for having a message or work product that is exemplarily. I recognize what I want others to emulate.

Excellence: I recognize people for performance that exceeds my expectations, for behaviors that that go beyond the norm and for excellence in their achievements.

Effort: I recognize people in the midst of their performance and during the demands of the project to provide them with fuel to press on to the finish line.

How to Recognize. There are three simple ingredients that make up the recipe for recognition: Feelings, Behavior and Impact.

Feelings: I tell the other how I feel or how I am emotionally moved by their behavior or the impact their behavior is having on me, others or the organization.

Behaviors: I speak to or call out the specific behavior the other is doing that I’m seeking to recognize.

Impact: I explain how their behavior actually matters. How their behavior is positively affecting things like fulfillment, time, money or productivity -these are the four factors I can use to measure the impact of their actions.

In short, I recognize people by telling them how I feel about their behavior and the impact it is having on me, others or the organization.

This is a recipe for really effective recognition.


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