Showing recognition is an important leadership behavior. For some, this is easy as it is part of their regular behaviors. For others, it is harder as they are not accustomed to it. In either case, we often assume people know we appreciate their efforts. Sometimes, because they are peers, we do not feel it is our place to give recognition. Both of these assumptions are false. Whether in a position of authority or if you’re just a peer or friend, everyone has the opportunity to appreciate the efforts of someone else. In your career, you will find that authentic displays of gratitude and recognition are a vital part of effective leadership.
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Think of someone that deserves recognition. This can be someone who has helped you, someone who has worked hard and done a good job, or someone who is simply special to you and has shown time and again they are on your side. Identify the person and explain why they deserve recognition.
Develop a plan to show them recognition. It should be personalized and meaningful. Perhaps you can buy them a small token of appreciation; it could be a thank you card, a small toy, or a mug with one of their favorite animals or cartoons. You might take them out to lunch or recognize them in front of a group of people. However you do it, it should show that you know them personally and that you appreciate their efforts.
Implement your plan and describe what you did and what their reaction was. How did it make them feel? How did it make you feel?
Assess how you can incorporate recognition behaviors into your normal set of behaviors to regularly notice and recognize people when appropriate.