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Most Memorable Acknowledgment

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    • #9898

      Hello Jim,

      This was a super simple one – something someone said to me:

      Several years ago, I was walking down the hall where I worked.  I was having an ‘average day’.  As I walked by one of the directors who was standing outside his office speaking with someone.  This was someone I had discussed business with a few times in the past, but I rarely saw him.  As I got closer to pass them he said, “Hello Sunshine”.   I smiled and said “hello” back as I kept on my walk.  The moment he said that I must have grown 2 inches taller!

      The ‘icing on the cake’:  A few days earlier I had said to myself, “I want to be sunshine”.   A little odd, I know, but but nevertheless, that’s what I had been thinking.  He SAW me!  That was so powerful to me that I will never forget that moment.  Every time I think of it it brightens my day!  I even include that story in my GL training – I demonstrate how my walk changed and everyone gets a kick out of it.  🙂  Be sunshine.

      • #9911

        Michelle — Sometimes the simplest are the most profound.  Thank you for sharing this with us.  It makes the CGL members think: “Maybe all I need to do is say something simple.”

        This example is a profound example of how, if it comes from the heart and is sincere, your acknowledgment will have an effect on the other person.

    • #9885

      Susan, what a great story you’ve shared! We often have no idea the power and the impact a simple acknowledgment can have on someone who may be uncertain of their value to an organization or in this case in one of your classes! And let’s not forget the difference the giving of an acknowledgment makes for the giver! You seemed surprised and delighted by the impact your acknowledgment had. That really contributed to you and gave you motivation for staying on this path. Thanks to both for carrying this message forward!

    • #9863
      Susan Parente

      Jim, thank you for the opportunity to share our experiences, and more importantly I acknowledge you for furthering this conversation on acknowledgment, which the world so greatly needs!

      I was trying to think of an acknowledgment that I shared that make a huge difference. As you may know, I teach project management, risk management, and Agile, as an Adjunct Professor at 3 different universities.  In one conversation with a student, I was sharing the power of acknowledgment with a student. I first thanked them for the work they did. Then I acknowledged them and I could tell, even over the phone, how powerfully it landed for the student. They were beside themselves. I don’t think my acknowledgment was particularly awesome, but it was heartfelt and what was so significant for the student was the distinction they felt between a thank you and an acknowledgment.

      Moments like this are why I teach. I am grateful for being someone who has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my students by acknowledgment them for who they are and who they are capable of being!


      • #9882


        That is exactly why I mentor and teach. The rewards come from the growth in the other person. Their smile, the look in their eyes, and tone of their voice. That is the reward for teaching. Thank you for sharing this story.

        – Jim

    • #9811

      Jim, this is such an awesome invitation!  Here’s an acknowledgment that I delivered recently that Is a bit unusual for me!

      I know you’ve referred to me in your Podcasts as the “Acknowledgment Evangelist,“ but this acknowledgment that I delivered recently is both a little bit unusual for and mysterious to me.

      I went to a UPS store and heard the owner exchanging annoyed comments with a woman there, an employee. And then I asked him about shipping a package to Canada and I didn’t understand exactly what he was telling me. He got “snarky “ with me (i.e. impatient), and so I said to him, “I don’t appreciate being spoken to in that way. I don’t think you were showing good customer service.“ He looked at me, his eyes widened, and he said “I’m sorry, I was busy yelling at my wife when you walked in. I should not have taken it out on you.“ I was so honored by his honesty and change in manner, that I really acknowledged him for being able to turn it around completely.  I also told him that he shouldn’t be yelling at his wife but rather, find something nice to say to her because she was helping him.

      He insisted on giving me a gift of a  lovely diary which he said was to make up for his behavior. It was really adorable! While I don’t think it was the average kind of acknowledgment that one delivers,  I do think that sometimes delivering the truth to someone and and then following  up  with appreciation based on the person’s gracious acceptance of it, is food for acknowledgment!

      Best, Judy

      • #9897

        I like that Judy.  Sometimes its hard to acknowledge the truth about ourselves, especially when we are being called out for a not so nice behavior.  This was another example of the power of acknowledgement!



      • #9812


        I am always amazed at your Acknowledgments.  You took what could have been a very personal situation around and helped a man realize his error, even how he can better handle a situation with his wife.  You know exactly what to say to bring out the best in people.  Examples like this show everyone how the Power of Acknowledgment can help turn the world in to a better place.

        Thank you for sharing this very astute acknowledgment.

        Jim Trela

    • #9731

      Over the last 2+ years, through my podcast I’ve been telling everyone about my acknowledgments; both those acknowledgments I’ve given and those I’ve received.  Now we would like to hear yours.

      Do you have an acknowledgment that sticks out in your mind?  It may be one you gave, or one you received.  Think for a few minutes.  I know the members of the Center for Grateful Leadership would love to hear about it.

      Take some time, and tell us your story.  It could be something simple, yet left an impression; or something outstanding someone did.

      If you are one of my podcast listeners, please let us know.  I have a special place in my heart for you.

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