People crave recognition. They crave recognition almost as much as they crave air to breath or water to drink. In fact people NEED recognition to carry them through the difficult times that all humans will eventually face.
Needing recognition is not a weakness, it is just a part of life.
I know lots of people who say they don’t need recognition. They are “self-fulfilled.” Well they may need a bit less recognition than other people but they are kidding themselves if they don’t think they need any recognition from anyone ever.
Humans have this thing known as an ego. If you have a pulse then you have an ego. It’s not bad to have an ego so long as you keep it under control but it is a problem when we fail to recognize that everyone else has an ego too.
What many people forget is that an ego sometimes needs to be fed in order to stay healthy. One of a leader’s primary responsibilities is to feed the ego of their people. Just like with a real human diet, small consistent “feedings” are far more healthy than binge feeding once in a great while and then starving for nourishment in between.
Those small consistent feedings are called compliments, feedback, and coaching. If you’re a leader who starves your people of ego food then you are missing a big piece of leading.
None of this is new for experienced leaders; they know their people need recognition and feedback. The mistake they make is believing they can provide that recognition and feedback when “they have an extra moment” or in their “free time.”
Look at your calendar, go ahead, look right now. Exactly when is that “extra moment” or “free time” on your calendar?
Most leaders don’t have extra time or free time in their day. That means the time required to provide recognition and feedback must be baked into their schedule. It must be planned and intentional. It needs to be more than “once in a while” because a “while” can be a very long time when you’re a busy leader.
If you really desire to grow your people then you need to give them the recognition they NEED in order to grow. When was the last time you purposely stopped what you were doing to give well deserved recognition or feedback. If you don’t know the date and time then I would submit to you that it’s been too long.
Your team’s collective ego is hungry… feed them!