7 ways to respond when recognized

Young Woman Showing Her Heartfelt Gratitude

Recognition is a way to let people know that you appreciate what they did and that the behaviour should be repeated. That’s what happens when you are the one who recognizes, but you’ll not always be the one giving recognition. Sometimes you will be the recipient.

How you respond when recognized is important. A proper response can encourage more recognition—behaviour you feel they should repeat. You want to see this person recognize staff and co-workers more often (and it would be nice if you were recognized occasionally, as well).

Here are seven suggestions of what to say or do when you are on the receiving end of recognition.

  1. Enjoy the moment. You deserve it. You did your job well. The person who is recognizing you has judged what you did as worthy of recognition. Just go with it.
  1. Smile. This signals that you appreciate the gesture.
  1. Say “thank you.” This is the simplest and most apropos response. Nothing else really needs to be said (although saying more can be useful).
  1. Describe how recognition makes you feel. “I appreciate your kind words. They make me feel good about what I do.”
  1. Trust the person delivering the recognition. Resist the temptation to humbly dismiss recognition as unnecessary or undeserved with phrases such as:

“It was nothing.”

“I was just doing my job.”

“No big deal.”

Obviously, to the person delivering the recognition it was a big deal. It was something. It’s not just about doing your job; it’s about doing your job well. When you dismiss recognition, you risk discouraging the very behaviour you want to see more often.

  1. Don’t feel you must reciprocate by immediately praising the other person. Doing so may seem insincere. For now, it’s about you. The other person’s turn will come. Soon you will witness this person act in way you truly appreciate. That is your time to express appreciation.
  1. Share the praise when appropriate. Let the person who recognized you know how others contributed. “Thanks for your feedback. It wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance I received from Michelle and Jacob. I’ll let them know that you appreciated what we were able to accomplish.”

4 thoughts on “7 ways to respond when recognized

  1. Pingback: When recognition you received didn’t resonate, say something |

  2. Pingback: You asked about providing too much recognition |

  3. Pingback: A marriage proposal gone wrong and what it tells us about staff recognition |

  4. Pingback: “No recognition, please!” said no one, ever |

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