The Power Of Paying Attention And Offering Recognition

I set an intention this year to reconnect with the writer I once was. I say “once was” because years of school (writing to the teacher) and attempts to learn “marketing-speak” (writing to an audience) had removed me, both from the joy of writing, but also from my connection to my own written voice.

If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it.
John C. Maxwell

Last week, I drafted an email to go out to a segment of my audience. It was a first (and very) rough draft. I have this “thing” that I want to be able to come to any coach I hire, prepared and having taken a stab at things myself first. It helps with learning and I think it shows a deep respect for the coach’s expertise.

Anyway, I shared the draft with my coach and she said, (before I could start saying “I know it’s rough and we can change anything you think would be better….”), “Wait! Stop! Don’t change a thing. This is the best piece of writing I’ve seen you produce to date. I wouldn’t change a single thing. Sign it and send it out”.

What! I was shocked. This person is someone I greatly admire. She’s someone I think extremely talented at creating “copy” for any media. And she just told me she wouldn’t change a thing?

I can’t even tell you what this did for me. I felt surprised, then grateful. This is what learning feels like! And then grateful again; this is positive evidence that my intention is manifesting. Then I felt grateful again, and said so. “When you shared that with me, that I am learning to write in a way that shows I understand what my audience is experiencing, it really helps me with the learning and I feel encouraged to write more!”. My coach appreciated that feedback.

So this is just one small example, personal to me, an entrepreneur. But the principle is the same no matter which side of the recognizing or being recognized coin you fall—when we pay attention to what someone is doing right, to the progress they are making (especially when you know it’s something they’ve been holding as a goal), you are part of their growth and learning.

Pretty cool, huh?

Who is in your direct sphere of influence? Who could you recognize for progress made (make it specific so it’s not just a compliment) so that their life was changed today? Who could you recognize for helping you change into the person you want to become?

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