By Clifford Woods <>
Did you ever receive an acknowledgment for a task or a job well done?
How did this make you feel?
On the other hand, was there ever a time when you completed something, whether at home, at work, or with friends and you knew you did well, but it went completely unnoticed?
Did you walk away a bit bewildered, miffed or even feeling unappreciated?
What a difference this makes!
Why is it that an acknowledgment is so important to us?
Isn’t it enough to know that you did your best?
The word “acknowledge” is a much more powerful word than I ever would have imagined.
Macmillan Dictionary gives the following definitions. Look these over and see if you do not agree:
- to accept or admit that something exists, is true or is real
- to know or recognize that someone or something is important
- to let someone know that you have received something they sent you
- to thank someone for something they have done for you or given to you,
- to show that you have seen someone or that you recognize them, for example by smiling or speaking to them
- to show that you are grateful to people who are clapping or cheering for you by waving your hand, nodding your head, etc.
Acknowledging is not strictly related to matters of money or other ‘important things’.
Apparently you can be as creative as you want to with the “reward” of acknowledging someone, because no matter how you do it, whether verbally, or with a pat on the back, a nice note or commendation, a single flower or a full bouquet, free movie tickets, a gift card, a raise or even a new car, it is the acknowledgment itself that contains the most power and is the actual reward; not the thing attached to it.
Take a look at your own life for examples.
After someone acknowledged you, did you then, say, want to work harder without being asked? Did you want to do more tasks around the house, even especially those long-neglected “I’ll wait till my next vacation to get to those” tasks?
How about your view of that person that acknowledged you? Did you find yourself appreciating them more in return? Did the working relationship, marital relationship or friendship improve? Or if there had been rocky roads, did it smooth out a little?
Such is the power of recognizing the presence of others and not taking them for granted.
Whole books have written on this subject. Yet, even if the authors made lots of money from them, do you see the practice of rewarding others for jobs well done in full use all around you?
I do not. As invaluable as it is, I see much more fault-finding, criticism, petty complaints, etc. But probably even much more common than those is just not recognizing that good deeds do take place because one is “too busy” to notice.
So if you are wondering how to possibly better a relationship, get off on the right foot with a new acquaintance or contact (in-laws? employer?), or say to strengthen an already ideal one, apply the above and really acknowledge and “reward” everyone you come in contact with.
Probably the best reward of all is how you will feel each day yourself when you do this; and who knows, others may start acknowledging you as well.