Recognise This! -Words have power. Use words of appreciation wisely.

I’m sitting in a hotel room in New York, watching the morning news. A big story is a change to national spelling bee competition in the US. Now, in addition to being able to spell uncommon, complex words, contestants must also know the definitions in a preliminary vocabulary test. Many participants (and parents) seem to be up in arms over this change – after all, it’s a “spelling” bee, not a “vocabulary” bee.

This change makes sense to me, however. What’s the value in knowing lots of words, even how to spell them correctly, if you don’t know what they mean or how to use them correctly? Indeed, knowing more words and how to use them correctly benefits the learner with expanded knowledge as well as those who may read or hear the learner use those words appropriately because much more information can be conveyed clearly and accurately.

The same is true with appreciation. We all know the words “Thank you.” We all (I hope) know we used use the words “thank you” to express appreciation. But the value of recognition goes so much further.

When we use the words “thank you” appropriately, then expand on them with deeper explanation of what we mean by “thank you” not only do we as the users of the words benefit, but far more do those who hear the words. Consider research featured in the GloboBlog that shows:

“An increasing body of evidence is showing that the employees who are GIVING the recognition and reward may be benefiting as much or more from a recognition moment than their colleagues.”

Think of it this way: Which has more power?

Words have power, especially words of appreciation and praise.

What’s the best message of appreciation you’ve received or given? What made it exceptional?