The Power of Recognition


How does it feel to be anonymous? Think back to your first day at a new school or work place. You were perhaps uncertain whether to take the initiative in approaching others who, clustered in groups, clearly knew each other. You may have been frightened – which is not unusual – about how they would react to you. The opening exchanges could be awkward and you would be afraid of “putting your foot in it” by betraying your lack of familiarity with established customs and practices.

Contrast those uneasy feelings with how you feel when you walk into a room and everyone recognises you. It is likely to give you a sense of wellbeing and confidence, as well as sheer enjoyment at being the focus of attention. Being recognised is an extremely powerful motivator. It is both reassuring and rewarding to know that you belong, that you have been accepted and possibly even elevated to a position of respect by your peers.

I loved the long-running TV series “Cheers” and the way regulars were greeted as they entered the bar. The theme song “Where Everybody Knows your Name” still resonates. It was written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo and performed by Gary Portnoy. In a 2011 Readers Poll in Rolling Stone magazine it was voted the best television theme of all time. Perhaps you are familiar with the lyrics, but here is an extract to remind you.

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came.

This song is a powerful expression of how important and motivating it is to be recognised! We are all egocentric, which is part of the natural instinct for self-preservation. Look after yourself and you will be better equipped to help others. In modern society, helping others often means studying hard to acquire knowledge and subsequently excelling in your chosen occupation. That in turn can lead to further personal development and often to promotion, greater responsibility and increased earnings. Equally it can apply to growing your own business and creating wealth.

Recognition and reward sustain performance

Every organisation depends on people for its success. Even the most automated processes and systems require programming, scheduling, monitoring and maintenance. Robots have not yet taken over total control and we probably all hope that will never happen. With the exponential growth of the service sector in both business and consumer markets and the private and public sectors, relationships between service providers and customers are vitally important. In manufacturing, quality management is critical and delivering customer satisfaction is essential. Once again, people are the key element.

Giving responsibility to people for managing relationships is a calculated risk that has to be taken.  Keeping those people committed to the vision and values of the enterprise requires positive actions.  Making individuals feel valued by recognising their achievement of excellence sets an example for their colleagues.  It also  acknowledges the best performers, giving them the accolades that come with recognition and reward.

Our expertise is in creating live events using the alchemy of human interaction and discourse to produce pure gold!  That translates in the real world into renewed commitment and increased enthusiasm from the people on whom the organisation depends for its continued success.