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It’s Definitely About Being Nominated



On Oscar night 2014, Piers Morgan of CNN asked Amy Adams, nominee for Best Actress Award with her role in “American Hustle”, “Do you think about winning or is it about being nominated?”

Read carefully what Amy’s response was to Piers Morgan.

“It’s definitely about being nominated. The actresses that I am alongside this year have been people that I have admired for so long…it is such an honor to be included among them.”

Now here are the leading ladies that Amy was cast with for potentially winning the Oscar Best Actress Award: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena) and Meryl Streep (August Osage County). An impressive group of amazing actresses if there was ever was one.

Which has me questioning how we’re really doing with corporate award programs.  Are we making the nominations of employees for an award as or more important than winning them? Hmmm! I have my doubts.

Imagine being alongside fellow employees from across your company who you should respect and admire. Do you even know one another and how and what each of you contributes to the organization?

Can we as awards’ event leaders stop and orchestrate the nomination process better? Think about how to make submitting the nominations, the publicizing, the judging process, and even the presentation of the nominees ahead of awards events, special and more meaningful.

Now what can you do to make your award nominees feel it to be an honor to be included with the likes of the list of nominated peers apart from winning?

I think the Oscars are about celebrating incredible acting skills and learning from one’s peers.

No wonder being nominated for an Oscar is considered as important as winning one.

Q: How will you make being a nominee of your formal awards an Oscar-like experience?


Distracted Manager Fines Set to Double??

Did you hear the news?

In the grand province of Ontario, Canada, where I live, they’re almost doubling the fines associated with distracted driving. It’s going up from $155 to $280. This all starts March 18th.

Sounds like a great idea for the workplace too. Imagine, if you were fined…one way or another… for distracted managing behaviors?

Distracted Managing Behaviors

Here are the rules: When communicating with an employee and intending to demonstrate Appreciative Listening® skills, managers should not let the display screen of a phone, computer, or tablet computer be visible or disruptive to either the manager or an employee. Same goes with removing whatever printed or tangible type of work you are involved in when approached by, or initiating a conversation with, an employee.

Sure…explain to an employee you are just saving, finishing up, or putting some kind of marker in place with the work you’re doing at hand. That`s understandable. No one should expect an immediate dropping of everything and instant manager attention. That`s not realistic.

Employee Value Perception

But we all have an internal threshold timer ticking away and evaluating each interaction we make.

The longer it takes for a manager to demonstrate eye contact, acknowledge the employee verbally, or show signs of closure from the work at hand, the greater sense of disrespect an employee perceives.

In contrast, when we show respect by not answering an incoming phone call, ignoring the buzzing smartphone or latest email on the computer screen, and give our full attention to the employee with us, our actions are positively received and the employee feels authentically appreciated – even before any words or actions are given.

Employees repeatedly tell us they don’t feel respected and valued when they are ignored or their manager isn’t paying attention to them because they’re preoccupied with electronic devices, work, or other people around them.

Quick Distraction Removal Tips

Follow the simple steps below to be on the good list of being an attentive manager. You’ll guarantee not receiving any fines.

·         * Look up and acknowledge an employee when they greet you or enter your work area

·         * Tell them your next actions for preparing to listen and speak with them so they know

·         * Turn off or close down any and all screens of electronic devices

·         * Close down computer screens

·         * Refrain from checking or answering texts, calls or emails

·         * Demonstrate putting work tasks out of sight

* Maintain eye contact and non-verbal conversation keepers

Q: How do you avoid being a distracted listener in the workplace?


"I Think All This Recognition Business Is So Childish"

That’s exactly what this lady said to me on the plane the other day.

“I think all this recognition business is so childish,” she stated emphatically.

I would probably place her as being a late Boomer and she was an academic in languages from a Canadian university. It was obvious she did not personally feel the need for any recognition and viewed employees wanting recognition as like pandering to a child wanting a treat for being a good boy or girl.

She viewed recognition as a waste of time and saw no need for it.

This was certainly a great reception after politely sharing one’s expertise as helping leaders and organizations in getting recognition right. I still had an hour’s flight left with this woman. Should I try to defend myself or simply smile and bury my head in the latest book I had with me.

I tackled the comment on two fronts.

First, I fought fire with fire and used academic findings with a social science study on recognition carried out by Dr. Adam Grant, author of “Give and Take”. In giving her the performance results variations from simply used words of appreciation in an email versus a neutral response, she politely acknowledged the findings by nodding her head. I think she realized I wasn’t speaking about unmeaningful acknowledgement and what she thought as “trinkets and trash” kind of recognition.

Second, I acknowledged that different people want to be acknowledged in different ways. I shared how professionals and high-performers require what I call more of a “pedestal and prestige” type of recognition in contrast with employees of alternate skill levels. I think that appealed to her. Naturally, being acknowledged in professional journals, presenting at conferences, and receiving accolades from peers for service to a professional group is far more appealing to an academic than someone who does not hold that level of expertise.

While she didn’t take back her initial negative evaluation of employee recognition we continued our conversation civilly and respectfully.

We have to be prepared to educate and build awareness of the importance of recognition.

Q: How would you respond to someone viewing recognition as being childish?


A Personal Request: Please Don’t Forget the Regular Employees

I keep hearing from managers, as well as their employees, that there’s a whole bunch of regular folks out there who just don’t get any appreciation or recognition at work.

You and I know there are many employees who are the consistent and die-hard faithful’s, the can’t-do-without, hardworking people, we totally depend upon.

They could be called your “regular” employees. Sure, there might not be any standout performance or above and beyond behaviors but, by golly, nothing would ever get done without them.

And it’s because they don’t shine in the crowd or produce any exceptional results that they often get ignored. No best of the best performance, no nominations, no acknowledgement and no awards. Many times they don’t even know what it feels like to be recognized.

We need to change that.

We must be careful to not just recognize the superstars.

In many cases the superstars will always be the superstars – you know, the high performers who are driven, motivated and blessed with talents that tend to make them the best in anything they do.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that the official armed forces of a country is called the “regular army”. Whether conscripted or professional, I think every country is both dependent upon and grateful for their regular military.

Yes, while heroic actions do take place in any military campaign, you will most likely find they were carried out by regular soldiers who were prepared, trained, and focused on doing their best in any situation, and they happened to be at the right place at the right time to make a significant difference. And so we give them an exceptional heroes’ medal.

But after most campaigns the regular soldiers come home and also receive a medal to acknowledge their participation in the military campaign, because without them the battle could not have been won or fulfilled.

Likewise with our regular employees. Without them the battle of the daily grind, the chores, production lines, operational duties, the regular work, would never be won either.  Each individual comes to work every day to fulfill their mission for the cause at hand.

We must take time out to acknowledge their contributions for winning the daily and weekly battles.

You might not give them a medal or a ribbon but you can rally the troops together and thank them for showing up on time, for being there day in and day out, and for fighting the good fight for the company.

Never underestimate the value of your words in lifting the spirits of your regular army of employees.

Don’t ever forget them.


Respect Comes First

We all know what respect means, don’t we?

Intuitively we know it is treating others as we would like to be treated. It is being polite, like holding the door open for someone behind us or greeting someone with using their name.

Where we may fall down is realizing that respect also means to hold someone or something in esteem or high regard and to actually honor a person for who they are and/or what they do. Do we respect people enough to demonstrate we value them and their contributions?

This is where I am concerned we slip up and neglect to give praise, recognition and compliments on a consistent basis because we don’t fully appreciate the complexity behind respect.

If I regard someone highly enough to honor them then I will almost reverently set aside the time to orchestrate the right way to recognize them. Time no longer becomes an excuse but rather a currency to be worthily spent.

By respecting someone enough I will be thinking more about how they would like to be recognized versus just how I like to be appreciated. And if I don’t know, will I have the courtesy to discretely or even directly find out? Respect can be so much fun!

Am I sensitive and observant enough to see and hear things about a person that could add a powerful “how did you know” effect to a special recognition moment? Valuing people can be a lifelong skillset that builds awareness of the little things around us.

I love origins of words and the root of respect comes from the Latin “respectus” which means “looking back”.

Perhaps we need to look back more frequently. Reflect on occasions we have overlooked or poorly carried out recognition. In looking back with a reframed focus maybe we’ll see if we fully respected our colleagues, friends and family the right way. With better respect then recognition would more naturally flow from us.

Recognition giving begins first with respect.


How Will You Measure Your Life?

Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth & Karen Dillon - authors of How Will You Measure Your Life?

Can high-achievers have it all?

On the next episode of Rideau’s Real Recognition Radio, Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown speak with Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon, the authors of How Will You Measure Your Life?
Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the author of seven critically-acclaimed books.  A native of Australia, James Allworth writes for the Harvard Business Review, and has previously worked at Booz & Company, and Apple, Inc.  Karen Dillon was Editor of the Harvard Business Review and previously served as deputy editor of Inc magazine, and was editor and publisher of the critically-acclaimed American Lawyer magazine.
How do you stay grounded in purpose while being satisfied and happy in your career?
Don’t miss the next Real Recognition Radio program to learn how we start to make things better in our own lives.

Listening to Shame

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW

How does shame impact organizations? 
On the next episode of Rideau’s Real Recognition Radio, Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown speak with Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, a writer and research professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work.
Brené is the author of The Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who We Think We Should Be and Embracing Who We Are and I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power.  

Her newest book is titled, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and LeadHer ground-breaking work has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, and was the topic of two TEDx talks.

What does shame sound like inside our heads? 

Don’t miss Rideau’s next Real Recognition Radio program to hear how to change a culture of shame.


He’s Making a List, And Checking It Twice

I heard a father speak the other weekend of what he is doing with his young children in anticipation of Santa Claus coming to their home.
It triggered in me the classic Christmas song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie where the line says, “He's making a list And checking it twice; Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice.”
This father shared how he has his two children write out a long list of the possible presents they would like Santa to bring them at Christmas. He suggested to those adults listening that by writing a long list there was bound to be something that “Santa” would be able to bring to them.
Next, he shared how they started a second list.
This list was for writing down the things each child was going to be giving to family members and special people in their lives.
What a lovely focus to develop in young children! They were not only looking at the magic and wishing of what they would like to believe. They were being encouraged to extend the magic by sharing and remembering what they would be giving to others.
Too often, in the awards, recognition and rewards arena, we get caught up with ourselves and what we want or expect from our bosses, peers and workplaces.
Instead, or in addition to our personal wish list, how about we start a list of the people who we should be recognizing and nominating for recognition.
Let’s start bringing some recognition magic into the air for others.
Q: How do you encourage mindfulness in people for recognizing others?

Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream

Whitney Johnson, author, DARE-DREAM-DO: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream.
Is fear of criticism keeping you from your dreams? 
On the next Real Recognition Radio program, Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown will be speaking with Whitney Johnson, the author of, DARE-DREAM-DO: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream.
Whitney is the president and co-founder of the investment firm Rose Park Advisors. She is a former Institutional Investor-ranked sell-side analyst on Wall Street, a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and a TEDx speaker. Whitney’s work was recently cited as an HBR Editor’s Pick for 2011 and she was also listed on Inc Magazine’s 12 People to Follow on Twitter in 2012.
Why are those who dare to do something, the ones most criticized? 
How do you press through your fears? Don’t miss the next Real Recognition Radio at 1:00 p.m. ET to learn how to be happy where you are and leverage what you have.

Giving Great Recognition to Groups and Teams

Many people ask if there is a right way to provide recognition to your groups or teams.
Some of the issues that crop up and cause people to question things are:
* What if one person doesn’t pull their weight on a group project? What do you do then?
* Should you never single out individual performance from teams and only give group recognition?
* Is there a best way to recognize a group of employees?
With tough questions like these it is always good to draw upon principles of behavior to help answer them.
Let’s examine each of these issues and see what recognition principles we can apply to them.
Principle of Equity
The main reason for the concern when someone isn’t pulling their weight comes because of discrepancies in the performance of one or more individuals.
People don’t like to see everyone receiving an award or acknowledgement for something when one or more people didn’t perform well or contribute at all.
For the most part this equity concern is a management issue of not dealing with poor performance in the first place. Poor performers should not be on the team. Period!
This can be done through setting clear expectations, listening, providing skills and resources, following up on actions taken, giving feedback and ongoing praise and of course, coaching and redirection. It also means dealing directly with any negativity right away and identifying performance gaps right away.
In fact a good team should be made up only of competent players. This should prevent a majority of the problems associated with team member being seen as “unworthy” of recognition.
Principle of Worth
Is it wrong to single someone out in a team? No it is not wrong. It is only incorrect if you put someone down in front of others.
Acknowledging them and expressing appreciation for their work is never wrong. Remember most of us desire receiving some form of recognition for our contributions. What is important is to respect individual wishes for private or public types of recognition.
More often than not there will be the undisputed Most Valuable Player (MVP) in team sports. When it is clearly observed that one team player contributed significantly to the goal, recognize that individual for why they shine.
Invite the star players on the team to assist in bringing others up the ladder.
At the same time, acknowledge the rest of the team for their overall success. Be specific, include everyone’s name, and tell each of them how they all made a difference. This principle often gets missed in the universal and global “well done.”
Share the wealth and spread the stories of what your teams are collectively doing right.
The key principle here is to be constantly looking for every individual performance that warrants praise and to give it on an ongoing basis. Make time to get to know all team members.
Philosophy Principle
Remember the Gestalt psychology principle of “the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts?”
Team or group recognition should always exceed that of the individual(s) who shine(s). Using the sports analogy further, the team wins the cup or pennant and then they acknowledge the MVPs. The group is still greater than the individual. That principle has to be top of mind.
It’s important to have clear measurable performance indicators to show why someone truly contributed the most. This can range from sales performance and other business results analogous to homeruns and goals. Measurable results help eliminate disputes over who the “star” players really are.
From a qualitative perspective team members may even let you know who made the most difference on a project or goal.
Remember it is individuals who make up a team.
Get Recognition Right Principle:
When there is a requirement or expectation for group recognition, give both group and individual recognition. Focus on the group first and individuals second. Provide ongoing performance feedback to prevent non-performers and the perceived recognition inequity.
Q: How do you deal with equity concerns around team recognition?

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