Tuesday, November 23, 2010


"Thank you."  "Great job."  "Thanks for the effort."  All too often I find myself using these phrases believing that I'm recognizing members of my team, or those that do great work in my organization.  But, wait a minute.  Is telling someone "good job" truly recognizing them?  Am I insulting them by assuming they have only done one task?

As I uttered these words again this week, I realized I had become lazy and was no longer using three basic steps that ensure effective recognition:

1.  Be Specific

Tell the people you want to recognize exactly what you are talking about.

2.  Be Timely

There is nothing worse that making the effort to praise someone for a job well done and suddenly realizing they finished that project weeks ago.

3.  Make it Personal

It can actually be a poignant moment when you look someone in the eye and tell them how important it was to you personally that they did such good work.  When you are sincere it shows in a very powerful way.

Who do you need to recognize today?  What have they done that has made a difference not only for your organization, but for you as a leader?  When you follow through, make sure you get the desired effect, and follow these basic steps.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of http://www.blogcdn.com/


  1. Jay-
    Thanks for this timely, simple reminder. I think every person should get a card with these three points on it given to them the first time they accept a manager role. I'm sure those you manage appreciate your take on this often forgotten element of leadership.

  2. Thanks for your feedback. It does seem so simple when I read the words; and yet I find that leaders struggle so much with this issue.