There are ways acknowledging others will make you a better leader, provided you follow through consistently.
A leader’s responsibility is to develop people to achieve desired outcomes. This means developing people is always a work in progress.
One of the best ways to bring the best out of others is through leveraging the power of acknowledgement.
Everyone likes to be acknowledged or appreciated. It’s tied to our need to belong or fit in. Acknowledging others is a powerful way to meet that need.
Those who make acknowledgement an integral part of their leadership style will stand out as a leader worth following.
I once worked in a team that changed leadership after I’d been with the team for three years. The first leader focused a lot of his time and energy getting to know his team members. During team meetings, he would acknowledge team members and share why it was a benefit to the team.
His practice of acknowledging others publicly helped create a high level of trust and collaboration in the team.
When he moved onto a new role in the business, a line manager took over his role. She had a different approach to leading the team. Giving praise or acknowledgement wasn’t something she’d do consistently. During team meetings, the focus was on what needed to be done and how to achieve team objectives.
Over time, the team dynamics changed. The level of trust and collaboration declined, which led to conflict and a poor team attitude. The team culture and level of performance declined, which made it an unpleasant environment to be in.
While there were other contributing factors that affected the team, not acknowledging team members, was a big part.
A leader has to make acknowledging others a key component of their leadership.
5 Ways Acknowledging Others Will Make You a Better Leader
Here are five ways acknowledging others will make you a better leader, which means you’ll have a better team.
- You will create a safe environment. When team members feel safe, they’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable. This means they’re more likely to share ideas and offer suggestions for improvement, which will result in a better performing team.
- You will instill confidence in team members. High levels of confidence will lead to greater creativity, innovation and the willingness to take risks. It will also help improve the level of commitment team members have to their roles and to their team.
- You will foster a healthy team culture. Acknowledgement and praise generates more positivity within a team. This leads to a better attitude amongst team members, which means there will be a higher level of collaboration. This will also help improve team performance.
- You will encourage candor within your team. Candor means being honest, sincere, and kind in dealing with others. If a leader gives praise when team members perform well, they will find it easier to keep others accountable. This means they’ll challenge team members to perform at their best and encourage them to hold all team members accountable.
- You will build stronger relationships. As leadership is about developing people, acknowledging others means a leader is seeing what’s good in people. Since people have different communication preferences, a leader will also improve their communication skills.
How to Acknowledge Others
Having ways to acknowledge others is helpful. Acknowledgement can fall into three categories, which are:
- Character which can include qualities such as confident, friendly, helpful, or their physical appearance.
- Ability which can include doing something well or the ease with which someone completes a task.
- Influence which can include someone’s ability to motivate or inspire others.
When acknowledging others, a leader should always be authentic. False acknowledgement will not develop confidence nor lead to improved performance.
It’s also important when acknowledging others to speak to them, not about them. This means saying something like, “I want to acknowledge you for…”
The more specific a leader will be when acknowledging someone, the better the impact will be.
Everyone is silently waiting to be appreciated or acknowledged. A simple, genuine acknowledgement can make a huge difference to a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
Acknowledging others is a skill that can be developed. The more a leader practices it, the more they will believe in the person they’re giving acknowledgement to. It will also make them feel better about themselves.
Action Step: Within the next day, practice acknowledging someone for something they did well by saying to them, “I want to acknowledge you for…”
Question: What are more ways acknowledging others will make you a better leader?