A few days ago, I started a series on the communication behavior of acknowledging. Are you ready for more? Here are my favorite phrases that I use when I acknowledge someone. Please remember that the key to acknowledging is to have these statements come from your heart, so some of these may not work for you (and they don’t even work for me in all situations!) I am providing these to you to help open your heart and feel what I am saying, not just hear what I am saying as you read it. Here goes…. NOTE: Since acknowledging should be followed by a question (another vital communication behavior)- I have followed each of these acknowledging statements with a question.
- “I really appreciate that idea. I love when the creative juice start flowing around here! What other ideas do you have brewing?” I am reinforcing the value of innovation.
- “That’s something I have not heard of and I don’t know much about it. Can you share more with me?” I am reinforcing the value of humility and interest.
- “I value your opinion and appreciate you coming to me with that concern. Would you like to hear my thoughts on that issue?” Can you already tell that I may disagree with this person’s viewpoint? But can you also see that I have not discounted what that person has to say?
- “I appreciate your honesty and I am so glad that you spoke up about this. I wouldn’t know how you felt if you didn’t tell me. Are you open to talking more about this now?” I have some very strong opinions about certain things (can you tell?) but I LOVE and value other people’s opinions as much if not more than my own. With this acknowledging statement I am encouraging future engagement and showing others my openness to dialoguing about topics.
- “I am so glad that you are a part of this team. You bring a fresh perspective to what we are doing. Can you tell me more about your background and where these ideas stem from?” Remember that as leaders, we are not just there to acknowledge someone when they initiate a conversation. We are to be the catalyst for conversations and the cause for creativity. We are also in leadership roles to build a stronger sense of community among our team members. (more on the topic of building community in a later post). I’m really frustrated with training programs that teach us to “respect diversity” but do not help us to open our hearts and then follow up with actions that truly show that we respect the diversity of our team members. (There is an example of one of those strong opinions I was referring to.)
As you can see by these examples, these acknowledging statements go much deeper into acknowledging than simply, “Absolutely! I’ll be happy to help you with that.” This is what deep caring and sensitive communication is all about. We definitely show our service to others when we can develop these kinds of acknowledging statements from our feelings that then flow gracefully from our lips.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION
Am I acknowledging others from my heart and reflecting all the values that this behavior needs to accomplish?