Do Not Accept Any Recognition from Someone You Don't Know

AirportI am amazed where my mind captures recognition ideas.
I was on another road trip from one U.S. airport to another last week.
Its easy to get into the traveling groove of security checks, looking for flight status, grabbing a bite to eat, finding your gate, boarding the plane, stowing luggage, connecting with seat mates, working away on the computer, and catching forty winks if you need it.
With all the routines you can be almost oblivious to the typical airport or flying communications, like safety demonstrations by flight attendants, because you’ve heard them a bazillion times.
Except this time, on one of my stops, something clicked for me with one of those routine announcements.
You know the one, “Do not accept anything from someone you don’t know.”
At first you might think, why would you ever do something like that? I have never been approached before. And like the scam emails requesting all of your bank account information, I am not likely to fall for the “Sir, please accept this box and take it on the plane for me” request.
But I guess this is a necessary reminder. Problems do still happen.
All this to say that from a recognition context, I am suggesting a similar warning - don’t accept anything from someone you don’t know.
Think about it:
· If you don’t even know your CEO and you’re at an awards banquet, should you accept an award given to you by the CEO? Oh, they may force you to take it, but wouldn’t it be more meaningful to have your immediate manager be the actual giver of the award so long as you get along well with them and they know you?
· Then again, what about your immediate manager? Do you know them and more importantly do they know you? If you don’t have a positive relationship with them, you and I know that any attempted expression of appreciation or action will fall flat and feel shallow. In that sense, he or she may give recognition to you but you don’t really receive anything personally or feel it inside when it isn’t sincerely done.
Quick evidence of this comes in the form of:
· Finding an employee’s crystal award hidden behind a stack of books on the bookshelf because the award was given to everyone on the team and several didn’t merit it.
· Hearing about a note card received from their boss that is quickly read once and thrown in the trashcan because there is no great relationship with the person who wrote it.
· A certificate of achievement buried in a drawer that was handed to an employee across the desk by a supervisor who said, “By the way, this is for you.” And then they carried on with their paperwork.
Wouldn’t you just love to coach and empower these employees to give their attempted acts of recognition back to the people who feebly attempted to recognize them?
Or at least, perhaps we could educate the givers of these recognition attempts that it takes really knowing someone very well before any recognition experience is really appreciated.
So here’s the warning for the office, plant or awards event: Do not accept any recognition from someone you don’t know.
Q: How do you feel when you receive recognition from people you do not know?