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Igniting Greatness

Recognition = You Matter

Pretend that every single person you meet
has a sign around his or her neck that says,
‘Make me feel important.’
Not only will you succeed in sales,
you will succeed in life.

Mary Kay Ash

Recognition inspires our hearts and ignites our aspirations to become our better selves. How many of you have received too much recognition lately? Or any? Now is our moment of power to recognize others for the contribution they make, to celebrate others’ successes and to help others feel that they matter.

What I have observed globally is Recognition Programs can work when they complement existing cultures of trust, leadership and teamwork. Recognition Programs, however, are not a quick fix to improve engagement scores. The fix for low engagement scores is upping your leadership development, training and coaching to help your managers gain emotional intelligence and people smarts. An essential ingredient of people smarts and leading others is the ability and desire to recognize others.

Recognition, like most things in life, is about the small every day moments more than the structured, big and expensive programs. The small every day communications, moments and encounters with you and your managers make people feel appreciated and valued or do not.

Each encounter makes people feel like heroes or zeroes.
There are no neutral actions.

Make people feel like heroes every day with these 9 actions:

Recognize individuals in the morning, hallways, elevators – anywhere and everywhere so they feel visible.

Be totally present in your conversations so the individual feels valued and heard. Listen to what is not being said – the body language – as well as the words and tone.

Exhibit common courtesy – a “please” and “thank you” go a long way.

Know each individual’s name and something unique to him/her are a must. Build rapport and recognition by remembering and re-visiting the uniqueness. An example: Girl Scout troop leader, softball Little League coach.

Acknowledge personal/professional milestones such as receiving a degree, getting a certification. Applaud and recognize specific results and behaviors that show extra effort that impact the business, goals and/or values.

Provide people with positive feedback throughout the year. When you see someone doing something right, take a minute and say “good job.”

Bring in treats on a random day or after a big deadline is achieved to show appreciation.

Invite individuals to present to management for visibility.

Leave hand-written post-it notes recognizing excellent work on their computer screen.

When someone does something well, applaud.
You’ll make two people happy.

Samuel Goldwyn

Make people feel like zeroes with these 3 not-to-do actions:

Make recognition a yearly chore during performance reviews.

Be dismissive of others’ ideas or inputs, including rolling your eyes.

Any and all forms of private or public humiliation and disrespect.

Imagine a workplace and world where everyone felt like they mattered – paradise on earth. It all begins with us.

We are always on stage.

Every encounter matters.

Recognition = You Matter.

Coaching Moments

List the ways you currently make people feel like they matter. What else could you do? Or stop doing?

You never know when a moment
and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.

Zig Ziglar

Voyage Dallas

Build your leadership muscle and increase your engagement with Ellen. Contact Ellen today at 214.207.7718 or

Get Results

Learn how to recognize people and inspire excellence with Ellen’s award-winning and best-selling book, Spirited Leadership: 52 Ways to Build Trust.

Understand what makes people purr with Ellen’s 2016 International Latino Book Award Winner, Happy in Spite of People, shows you how.

You matter!


You made me feel like I could make a difference. Thank you!

Pat, Customer Service Representative

It's All About Trust.™

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