Did you know that all the latest research shows that where there exists high levels of positive emotion we see improvements in productivity, heart health, immune function, emotional intelligence and over resiliency. It’s a fact! We can actually improve the emotional environment we live in.
There are some very simple ways to build positive feelings within our organizations and communities. I find that we tend to be more focused on the negative and even I feel at home with constructive criticism. Give me something to work on and to improve myself and I’m in my comfort zone. Give me an appreciation or compliment and I will probably become awkward and brush it off. It’s outside of my comfort zone to give and receive positive feedback. If, like me, you were raised in an era by elders who were strict and perhaps a little glass is half empty you are probably not accustomed to the art of giving and receiving acknowledgements. We all want to feel understood and acknowledgements indicate understanding and convey the message “I see you and you are important”. In my workshops I see people light up after giving and receiving kind words of recognition. It’s incredible to see the affect of this simple yet powerful gesture. This technique is effective with partners, family, colleagues and children and it take practice to get into the flow of it. It may feel uncomfortable at first but after a while you grow to love it and you will see how powerful it can be. Not only does it improve the overall “feeling” in our environment it creates intimacy in our relationships and improves our ability to communicate effectively. Especially during times of conflict.
Here are some simple tips for giving and receiving acknowledgements.
Keep it short and sweet. Less really is more. Sometimes a beautiful acknowledgement can get lost in too many words. So….state the acknowledgement as simply as possible. For instance, I may say to my husband. I really appreciate that you always put the family first. Then stop and be quiet.
Pause….and allow the person to hear the acknowledgement. Leave room for some silence so they can let it it.
Make eye contact and smile.
There is nothing else that needs to be said. Let it land.
If you are receiving an acknowledgement then really let it in. I find that things come in to me through my heart so often I will touch my heart and really take a moment to take in the heartfelt acknowledgement and to let the other person know I’m receiving it. There is nothing more unfulfilling than acknowledging someone who can’t or doesn’t know how let it in.
So….practice giving and receiving acknowledgements this week. Create a list of people in your life that you want to acknowledge. Write out a short and simple acknowledgement for each of them. Seek them out and go for it! See what happens. As always practice, practice, practice.