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Giving Recognition Key Traits of Leadership

Does your team feel valued and appreciated? It’s safe to say that everyone likes to be given kudos for a job well done. However, giving recognition is often a very undervalued tool for leaders. Leadership success is entirely dependent on the success of the team, so it’s crucial to keep morale up so that the team is performing at its best. When staff hears compliments from their team leaders they are more proud of their work and continue to make their work better. 


Which is more powerful to you?


  1. Great job on the new presentation.


  1. Great job on that presentation David! The graph on the third slide really helped me understand the numbers better.


Compliments of any kind are great to hear, but try to be specific. Specific positive remarks about an individual’s work tell the person that you paid attention. Anyone can say “good job”, but when you give recognition to a fixed section of the project, it means it left an impression on you. So how can we be more specific?




People doing this work are not machines. They are real individuals that put their time and energy into completing these tasks with integrity. Appreciate the person rather than the work by using their name when giving praise. Simply using their name makes the praise that much more personal by showing that they left a lasting impression on you.




So, instead of telling them, “Great job on that presentation, it turned out wonderful!” Try being specific and saying, “Wow, the font and placement of the images in those slides looked so professional Jill! I can tell you put effort into this and I really appreciate that.” 


Small differences in the way a compliment is presented make a huge difference in the way people receive it. Altogether, when you treat your team as human beings deserving of trust and respect, your team will function more cohesively and be much happier with the environment created with you as a leader.



This step is the icing on the compliment cake. It shows that you’re eyes were glued to the project when you’re able to pinpoint where in the presentation the impressive part was. If you tell a team member the specific slide or page, it will tell them not only did you pay attention to the good part, but they infer you paid attention to the less important as well. You have to know the surroundings to know the location.


Specific compliments when giving recognition make a world of difference. Ultimately though, people can tell when it is a genuine compliment, so find something you actually loved and move from there. If you remind your team how important they are as part of the processes, they will take more pride and integrity in their work in the future.

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