Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Art of Recognition

Recognition:  acknowledgement with a show of appreciation.

Sounds simple, doesn't?  But when was the last time YOU were appreciated for something?  Similarly, when was the last time YOU appreciated something someone else did? 

It seems like such a small thing... appreciation... but how often do we let something pass us by without any recognition?  How often do we think to thank our spouse or our children for something they've done?  Or a co-worker?  Similarly, a fellow Lion?

Recognition doesn't have to be anything fancy.  It can be as simple as a smile and a thank you.  Acknowledgement.  It can be done publicly, in front of peers.  Acknowledgement. 
Lions are selfless people.  They work hard for the good of their community without any thought of "what am I going to get out of it."  You all know that getting the job done, seeing results, helping someone is reward enough.  But isn't it the frosting on the cake when someone actually recognizes all your hard work--especially in front of your peers--and says, "thank you"?

The end of the Lions calendar year is almost upon us and if you haven't already thanked your fellow Lions and other non-Lion groups for their help throughout the year, now would be a good time to start putting something together. 

What do you look for when recognizing someone?  First, remember that it isn't always the BIG projects, the high-profile projects that deserve the recognition.  A small task might be a big thing to the person doing it.  Make your recognition sincere otherwise the person will know they didn't earn the reward. 

People repeat behavior that's rewarded, avoid behavior that's punished, and drop or forget behavior that produces neither result."
Effective Behavior in Organizations
A.R. Cohen, S.L. Fink, H. Gadon, R.D. Willis
Recognition can be any act of appreciation that lets people know that you notice their efforts.  This simple acknowledgement increases the likelihood that they will remain motivated to continue their efforts.
BUT, know your subject.... not everyone likes public attention and might prefer a simple "thank you" note instead.  So know your subject, get to know them as you're working on a project together.  Also, remember to keep your recognition proportionate to the action being recognized. 
(Excerpts taken from "The Art of Recognition" by Lions Clubs International)

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