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Monday, April 15, 2013

Recognize & Acknowledge

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Both are important.  To understand the differences, we must first lay out some terminology.  The person/entity that is doing the recognizing or acknowledging we will call the “giver.”  The person/entity that is being recognized or acknowledged we will call the “receiver.”

In recognition, the giver is usually a mass number of people, an organization, or big entity.  The receiver may be an individual, but little is known about that individual except what the individual is being recognized for.  For example, in a large corporation, an individual may be recognized for being the top salesman; however, very few other details are divulged regarding the individual.  The receiver could also be a group of people or an organization.  For example, an award might be given by Easter Seals to our company as a whole, for raising the most funds.

Recognition is important because it allows people or organizations to shine in the limelight.  Many times, that is what motivates people to do more.  It is like a moment of fame.  Acknowledgment is important because it is more personal and authentic.

Acknowledgment doesn’t happen in a ceremony or on stage.  The giver is usually an individual or a small group of people, and the receiver is always an individual or family.  Acknowledging isn’t about whom has the most, got the most, and won the most.  It is about something specific a person has done that has made a difference to someone else.

We acknowledge someone for being a good friend and going the extra mile.  We may acknowledge someone for taking our side with the boss.  We may acknowledge someone for the incredible sense of caring they have instilled in their children.  Acknowledging someone is showing them that we notice and we appreciate whatever the person has done.

Acknowledgment has been rooted as a technical term to confirm something.  But acknowledgment is a lot more.  We must try to acknowledge people for their efforts more often, for that is what makes other people feel good.  And, that’s what makes us feel good, too.

Acknowledgment is also going that extra step.  Anyone can recognize a problem.  Those who are willing to acknowledge a problem are already on the pathway to responsibility and correction.

Remember, we may recognize community (a familiar face, a group goal achieved) and differences (competition).  We can only acknowledge authenticity (something for what it is, without any kind of comparison).  Recognition can be unwanted.  Consider what Fred Allen said, “A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.”  Acknowledgment is always well received.

Let's love the world together...

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary

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