Making A Difference - Part 2

I wonder how many of you feel you deserve more appreciation at work, or from your spouse, or from your kids? Think of a time in your life when someone acknowledged you for your work, for your humor, for your caring.  When you have that experience in mind, try to remember how you felt.  There is something that employees and customers want more of.            Also parents, neighbors, children, bosses, teachers, people of every religion, nationality, men and women, teenagers, business executive - everyone. Gang members and disgruntled employees kill for it, adults are hoping for it senior citizens are dreaming about the day they will get it. What is it?  Acknowledgment.

Remember how you felt when you were acknowledged by someone?  Imagine what would happen if everyone were feeling that same way at the same time.

 There are so many people who wanted to be told they were loved by their parents, a coach, or a boss. We assume people know how to do this, as we assume people know how to balance a checking account. These skills are not taught in our schools, homes or work places, and therefore are missing in our society.  This level of communication can be woven into the very fabric of our society.

According to Robert Half, President of the top employment agency in the US, one of the main reasons employees quit their jobs is lack of acknowledgment.

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, says that for many people there was one time in their life they may have received applause, and that is at their high school graduation. Now they say, “Hold your applause until the end.”

Jack Canfield:    tells about a study that was done and that discovered that each day, on average, children receive 460 negative messages to only 70 positive ones. That’s six times as many negative comments as positive ones.  Canfield’s research shows that children entering grade school have 80% self-esteem, but by the time they get to junior high it is down to 20% and in high school it is 5%. According to the National P.T.A. association, 78% of all parents feel as thought self-esteem should be taught in school.  76% of the teachers fell it should be taught at home.  No matter who feels what, according to the Carnegie Institute of Education, a high percentage of teenagers today feel that their lives are worthless.  It’s no wonder. Children’s behavior is learned and their emotional bank account approaches bankruptcy by the time many of them graduate from high school.

We’re not taught to give compliments (acknowledgment) or to receive them. Look how many people get embarrassed when someone pays them a compliment.  What makes them get embarrassed? Most of us have been told not to brag, to be modest.

Since so many people focus on the negative, it’s no wonder that when someone pays them a compliment or tells them they did something good, they don’t know how to deal with it.  It’s a hard habit to change.  I would guess that many of you have seen proof around you that people don’t like to change, and don’t change, or at least don’t change that quickly.

Changing old behaviors or habits doesn’t always come that easily, does it? On the other hand, haven’t you noticed that when you are around a positive role model, you changed an old behavior a lot quicker.  Today, we are gaining more and more proof that change can happen very quickly in certain environments while in other environments change may never occur, or at least it happens much more slowly.

In my next blog (part 3)  we’ll talk more about the power of acknowledgment.

t the la     © Dick Caldwell 2012