Acknowledgment is a powerful tool for personal growth. When was the last time you acknowledged or validated yourself or someone else? Many of us don’t seem to know how to receive or offer this positive skill, perhaps because it was a skill that we never learned in childhood.  If that’s the case, acknowledging yourself and others won’t come naturally which leaves us neither knowing how to give nor to receive a simple yet powerful tool that leads to personal growth.

Receiving An Acknowledgement

I find it extremely insightful to observe the hardship some people have in receiving an acknowledgement. A lump swells in their throat, their palms sweat, and they become fidgety. I guess I could compare this to someone receiving a compliment. If you are not comfortable in receiving one, then your behavior would be pretty much the same – you’d feel uncomfortable and, typically, change the subject. People may also misinterpret the acknowledger thinking that they are after something. “Sure?! What do they want?” Obviously, there is an issue with trust here.  Or, perhaps, the receiver doesn’t think they are worthy enough to receive a positive reinforcement. Clearly, this may be a deserving issue. We all have issues. None of us are perfect. The point is, we need to learn how to both receive and give an acknowledgement because acknowledging others builds relationships and shows you care.

Be Genuine When Giving

If you are the person to give an acknowledgement, the feelings may be pretty much the same if you’re not used to it. You doubt yourself or maybe even questioning whether or not it’s appropriate. The thing is, you can never go wrong when you give an acknowledgement if you come from a genuine place. The best time to give an acknowledgement is when the other person is receptive. You need to have a strong connection with them. A random acknowledgment to someone you don’t know won’t go far and you will lose credibility and inhibit the growth of a trusting relationship.

What Acknowledgment Looks Like

  • Having someone endorse you when you are afraid to forge ahead.
  • Focusing on your strengths when all you see are your weaknesses.
  • Wanting a better way for you when you find it hopeless.
  • Holding your vision high when you are down.
  • And recognizing your talents and accomplishments when you are blind to see them.

Build A Fire Within

“You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” –Bob Nelson

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