QOTD: Recognition

 

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. — Abraham Lincoln

We all have goals: We want to matter. We want to be important. We want to have freedom and power to pursue our creative work. We want respect from our peers and recognition for our accomplishments. Not out of vanity or selfishness, but of an earnest desire to fulfill our personal potential. — Ryan Holiday

In some ways, recognition has gotten a bad rap. Parents got into the habit of giving participation trophies or for over-praising their children for ordinary tasks. In a sense, many people felt they were entitled to be recognized, when in fact they hadn’t done anything praiseworthy. They often expected to get recognized just for doing their jobs. But recognition does have a special place in our culture, for those who go beyond the commonplace.

When I retired, I didn’t realize one aspect of working that I would be missing: recognition. I had worked independently as a consultant and trainer for many years, and I interfaced with clients and their teams. The fact that they would hire me, work with me on internal issues, and commit to resolving them, was deeply rewarding. It was a type of recognition that I treasured, and I reciprocated by telling them how much I appreciated their risk-taking and hard work. In return, I would receive comments of gratitude, particularly for creating a safe environment.

Nowadays, my opportunities for recognition are fewer, but in many ways, they are more precious. When I make bereavement calls, the bereaved are sometimes reserved when they begin to answer my handful of questions, but in the end, they express their thanks for my checking in on them. There are probably few opportunities for them to openly express their grief and loss. Their ease in talking with me, and when they thank me for calling, are also a recognition of my approach to them, as they share stories and experiences.

I also receive recognition for my blogs at Convention of States. I love working with a team, and we make an effort to praise and encourage each other. Over time, I’m getting to know them better and enjoying the rapport we have with each other.

And then there is the recognition that I receive on Ricochet. The person who opens up my post recognizes that I just might have something to offer; the one who goes on to read what I’ve written pleases me even more. And those who decide my post has earned a “like” help me realize that I have something meaningful to say to them.

Whether a person only opens a post, reads it or likes it, I am deeply gratified for his or her recognition of my contribution.

So, when our actions reflect a special effort on our part, we want to be recognized for them. Every person benefits from recognition. Even greater than being recognized is recognizing the acts of others. Do you make a point to recognize the people around you, expressing your gratitude and acknowledging their actions?

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  1. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Susan Quinn:

    Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. — Abraham Lincoln

    We all have goals: We want to matter. We want to be important. We want to have freedom and power to pursue our creative work. We want respect from our peers and recognition for our accomplishments. Not out of vanity or selfishness, but of an earnest desire to fulfill our personal potential. — Ryan Holiday

    “A little ‘good work, well done’ from time to time would really help ward off the existential fear of being fired, if only for a little while.” – Misthiocracy

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. — Abraham Lincoln

    We all have goals: We want to matter. We want to be important. We want to have freedom and power to pursue our creative work. We want respect from our peers and recognition for our accomplishments. Not out of vanity or selfishness, but of an earnest desire to fulfill our personal potential. — Ryan Holiday

    “A little ‘good work, well done’ from time to time really helps keep existential fear of being fired away for a little while.” – Misthiocracy

    Is that your experience, Mis?

    • #2
  3. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Susan Quinn: Do you make a point to recognize the people around you, expressing your gratitude and acknowledging their actions?

    I think I do.  There are some people who are philosophically opposed to this, though.  Their idea is that you should scold someone if they make a mistake and say nothing if they do a task well, because everyone is supposed to do everything right all the time, anyway.  Maybe I see a correlation where it doesn’t exist due to my family’s mostly German background, but this does seem to be a Germanic attitude.

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. — Abraham Lincoln

    We all have goals: We want to matter. We want to be important. We want to have freedom and power to pursue our creative work. We want respect from our peers and recognition for our accomplishments. Not out of vanity or selfishness, but of an earnest desire to fulfill our personal potential. — Ryan Holiday

    “A little ‘good work, well done’ from time to time really helps keep existential fear of being fired away for a little while.” – Misthiocracy

    Is that your experience, Mis?

    I dunno. I’ve never had a boss say ‘good work, well done’.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Do you make a point to recognize the people around you, expressing your gratitude and acknowledging their actions?

    I think I do. There are some people who are philosophically opposed to this, though. Their idea is that you should scold someone if they make a mistake and say nothing if they do a task well, because everyone is supposed to do everything right all the time, anyway. Maybe I see a correlation where it doesn’t exist due to my family’s mostly German background, but this does seem to be a Germanic attitude.

    Actually my husband used to be like that. I convinced him that praising someone’s work was important for multiple reasons. Funny, his mom’s side of his family was German…

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):
    I dunno. I’ve never had a boss say ‘good work, well done’.

    I’m so sorry. Seriously.

    • #6
  7. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    I try really hard to recognize when our firefighters and medics do a good job (by far most of the time).  It’s hard sometimes when the crew has done truly outstanding work and we still fail to save a patient.  That’s when I save the recognition for private.  The people we respond to are almost always thankful, even when we didn’t save the shed, or barn, or whatever.

    In the military good leaders praise in public and save the major league ass chewings for private.  I’ve always tried to follow that.

    One time our guys saved a dog with oxygen treatment at a house fire and the local news went gaga.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    I try really hard to recognize when our firefighters and medics do a good job (by far most of the time). It’s hard sometimes when the crew has done truly outstanding work and we still fail to save a patient. That’s when I save the recognition for private. The people we respond to are almost always thankful, even when we didn’t save the shed, or barn, or whatever.

    In the military good leaders praise in public and save the major league ass chewings for private. I’ve always tried to follow that.

    One time our guys saved a dog with oxygen treatment at a house fire and the local news went gaga.

    You show a lot of wisdom in how you recognize others, Tex. Especially for a situation like the one I bolded above. That must be so painful for all involved.

    • #8
  9. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
     That’s when I save the recognition for private.

    If recognition is public I tend to discount it anyways. It almost always means that the person making the recognition is doing it for self-serving reasons.

    • #9
  10. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    That’s when I save the recognition for private.

    If recognition is public I tend to discount it anyways. It almost always means that the person making the recognition is doing it for self-serving reasons.

    A lot of things that are done for self-serving reasons are nevertheless mutually beneficial.

    • #10
  11. Fractad Coolidge
    Fractad
    @TWert

    Was it Reagan who said something along the lines of, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one seeks credit for it”?

    • #11
  12. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Fractad (View Comment):

    Was it Reagan who said something along the lines of, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one seeks credit for it”?

    I know it has been attributed to him, but lot of things are incorrectly attributed, so I wouldn’t bet the farm on the quote being true.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Fractad (View Comment):

    Was it Reagan who said something along the lines of, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one seeks credit for it”?

    If he did or didn’t, it’s still a great quote.

    • #13
  14. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    That’s when I save the recognition for private.

    If recognition is public I tend to discount it anyways. It almost always means that the person making the recognition is doing it for self-serving reasons.

    I may not fully understand your point.  If I recognize someone in public it’s to get them recognition and accolades from people who would not otherwise be aware of the good deeds.  While I understand that such an act could be self serving, to assume it’s always thus strikes me as cynical to a fault.

    • #14
  15. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. — Abraham Lincoln

    We all have goals: We want to matter. We want to be important. We want to have freedom and power to pursue our creative work. We want respect from our peers and recognition for our accomplishments. Not out of vanity or selfishness, but of an earnest desire to fulfill our personal potential. — Ryan Holiday

    “A little ‘good work, well done’ from time to time would really help ward off the existential fear of being fired, if only for a little while.” – Misthiocracy

    It may ward off the fear, but will do little to prevent getting fired.  Beware, after any period of successfully working on your own, when HR and the supervisorial class takes an interest in you.  

    • #15
  16. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Fractad (View Comment):

    Was it Reagan who said something along the lines of, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one seeks credit for it”?

    I know it has been attributed to him, but lot of things are incorrectly attributed, so I wouldn’t bet the farm on the quote being true.

    As I recall, Reagan said he was quoting someone when he made the statement. He was pretty good at giving credit where credit was due.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Fractad (View Comment):

    Was it Reagan who said something along the lines of, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one seeks credit for it”?

    I know it has been attributed to him, but lot of things are incorrectly attributed, so I wouldn’t bet the farm on the quote being true.

    As I recall, Reagan said he was quoting someone when he made the statement. He was pretty good at giving credit where credit was due.

    It was on a plaque on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office: “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”

    Who said it? A lot of people.

    It is a concept as foreign as can be imagined to your average politician.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    It was on a plaque on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office: “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”

    Who said it? A lot of people.

    It is a concept as foreign as can be imagined to your average

    You are always just a wealth of information, Percival! Thanks!

    • #18
  19. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Maybe I see a correlation where it doesn’t exist due to my family’s mostly German background, but this does seem to be a Germanic attitude.

    Gerhard Neumann, who played a major role in creating the jet engine industry, grew up in Germany–his parents were Jewish, but culturally stereotypically Prussian.  Before entering college for an engineering degree, he worked in an auto shop as an apprentice.  At the conclusion of the three-year apprenticeship, the shop owner said “Thank you, Neumann”…the only time that he had ever said “thank you” to his apprentice, or called him anything other than “boy”…and sent a bouquet of flowers to Neumann’s mother.

    I reviewed Neumann’s excellent memoir here.

     

    • #19
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