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Discover Your Recognition Style

A good place to start in understanding and using Recognition Styles is to understand your personal recognition style. Lets review the Five Common Recognition Styles once again.

Five Common Recognition Styles

  1. Verbal & Written Affirmation - From a simple "Good Job" at the appropriate moment to other sincere words reflecting your appreciation, words of affirmation are easy to give and should be done often. A common fear about words of affirmation is that they can be given too often, thus diluting their value. The reality is if the words of affirmation are given sincerely, then this should never be a problem. Some individuals prefer this recognition to be done quietly and one on one. Others feel a greater sense of recognition when this gesture is public. This is an important distinction worth understanding when giving affirmation.
  2. Acts of Service - Simple things such as bringing someone copies from the copy machine can mean a lot to someone. It demonstrates the concept that "I appreciate what you do for us". Acts of service can be the offer to grab a cup of coffee or soft drink for a co-worker. Maybe they need a ride to pick up their car from the tire place. Acts of service typically come up on the spur of the moment and can be gone in an instant. Be open to consider a practical need someone has and consider how you might meet that need, as small as it might be, in some tangible way.
  3. Time - Giving of time outside of meetings and daily business can really instill a great sense of recognition to some people. It conveys to the receiver that "You are worth taking time out of this day for". Time can be given in increments as small as a few minutes but will mean quite a lot to the person who views time as a form of recognition. Kick it up a notch by grabbing lunch or taking a break with those that value time. These natural breaks in the day can be a good time to consider those that value time as recognition.
  4. Gifts - Giving a gift to someone who values it as a form of recognition sends the message "You were thinking about them". A person who likes gifts as recognition will generally receive the same level of satisfaction from a small gift as from a large gift. The value they receive from it is not tied to the cost of the gift but rather the knowledge that you took time to consider and reward them.
  5. Proximity - Being in the close proximity with another conveys an interest that what they are doing is important and meaningful. Consider dropping in for a visit to their work site or location and recognizing the work they are doing. A person who values this type of recognition generally is looking for interest and connection in the work they are doing. Trust is an important foundation of this type of recognition as close proximity could be misinterpreted as "looking over the shoulder" of the recipient. Ensure a good level of trust is in place when interacting with those that value close proximity as a recognition style.

The Individual Recognition Style Survey Tool

Using the Individual Recognition Style Survey tool (XLS | ZIP) as a guide, enter a "3" in the box containing your primary recognition style. Then mark "2" for a secondary recognition style. Finally mark the other recognition styles with a 1, 0 or -1 as appropriate.

Recognition as a Team

If you are doing the Recognition Styles as a team, you should send a copy of your Recognition Style results to your manager or supervisor. This will give them insight as to the best way to recognize you when it's appropriate. Also this will give them an understanding of how the team should be functioning with recognition as a whole.

Getting the Word Out

It may be appropriate to post your Recognition Style tool results in your immediate work location. This will be a helpful for those that interact with you the most to better understand the way you naturally receive recognition.