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9 Ways to Use Recognition to Influence People

This blog originally appeared on www.lifemoxie.com.

There are many ways to applaud people’s accomplishments and successes and recognize their contributions. By recognizing others, you are expressing appreciation for their contributions rather than highlighting their shortcomings. Ignore such contributions and they will change their behaviors to get you to notice them. By recognizing behaviors and contributions, you are influencing them to repeat them.

Here are 9 ways to start recognizing:

1. Use the “Weekly Snapshot.” The “Weekly Snapshot” is a one-page snapshot of someone’s achievements of the week. By requiring people to put their accomplishments in writing, they are highlighting for you opportunities to recognize them. They are also learning to recognize their own accomplishments.

2. Sing their Praises to Others. There is no greater compliment than a referral. Similarly, by complimenting Person A to Person B in front of Person A, you are recognizing A in the most genuine of ways. There is nothing in it for you except to make Person A look good.

3. Employ a “Victory Log.” A Victory Log is an ongoing laundry list of accomplishments that gets updated regularly. The inventory includes anything from personal wins like relationships to professional successes like getting a job or winning a new client.

4. Pause for the Applause. Teach people to stop and listen when others are congratulating or thanking them. Too often people brush off such acknowledgements as embarrassing. To recognize someone, we need them to hear it.

5. Encourage People to Create a WIN File. A WIN file is a file specifically dedicated to collecting wins, such as letters of acknowledgement and recognition, thank you cards and emails, certificates, and pictures of accomplishments. People need to collect it physically lest they forget about their recognitions mentally.

6. Hang Applause on the Wall. Put recognitions where people can see them. Honors, leads, sales, achievements, thank you letters from clients. These should be for public consumption, like the “my kid was on the honor roll” bumper stickers.

7. Remember Them. Recognition does not depend on the size of the gift; it depends on the fact that you remembered. You can recognize someone simply by remembering that they are interested in taking on a new project.

8. Put it in Writing and be Specific. Nothing is better at saying thank you or congratulations than a handwritten note. So few people do it, you are guaranteed to stand out. And don’t just say “thanks!” or “way to go!” Be very specific in your recognition.

9. Don’t Confuse Birthdays with Recognition. Too often we throw a birthday celebration for someone and check the box for appreciation. People don’t need to be appreciated because they got a year older. They want to be appreciated because of a contribution they made. Recognize that, not their birthdays.