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by Roy Saunderson | July 25, 2016
Enjoy sun and shade this summer, but also make time to improve recognition giving. Take in the warm evening breezes and reflect on these pearls of wisdom for making authentic recognition happen. Ponder one thought each day and practice being intentional with these ten summer reflections on employee recognition.

1. Recognition giving all starts from the heart. To give genuine caring, concern, and compassion, open up your heart to others you work with. You must accept people just as they are and learn to be transparent with everyone around you. 

2. Learn to give authentically.
 What you say or do to express appreciation must come from your heart. Recognition is a felt phenomenon and is sensed via the heart. Learn to be vulnerable and let your heart beat out appreciation and gratitude.

3. Hear with more than your ears.
 Hearts listen too! Listen to everything around you, even what's not being said. Hear through your ears and brain without any personal agendas smoke-screening out the recognition you should be giving. 

4. Listening can be hard work.
 When you learn to listen well you will be able to elevate the recognition you give. You will know what is motivating and meaningful to the person you're acknowledging by the things you pick up on by listening.

5. Let eyes help you to be grateful.
 Observe what's really going on around the person you appreciate. Do you take in the facial features of people as they receive recognition? Are you identifying the body language reactions displayed? 

6. Notice the person's environment.
 Make special note of the little things the person you're recognizing likes. What is important to them? Discover ways to enhance recognition you give to people through what you learn from their work.

7. Good words originate from the heart.
 Sure, you can use simple formulas to help structure spoken or written commendations and praise you give. But nothing can beat pure expressions of love and respect for people given from the heart. 

8. No one is perfect at recognition.
 Remember employees will be more forgiving of awkwardly expressed but sincere comments from you, rather than hearing no recognition at all. Make sure you watch the consistency of your tone of voice too.

9. Hands can both give and take.
 Let your heart guide your hands to give with compassion. You will give recognition through acts of kindness, demonstrating support, and giving appropriate touch to accompany or replace spoken words. 

10. Give gifts that are fitting.
 You must strive to find perfect gifts and tokens of appreciation that fit the intended recipient to a tee. And here's a reflection for you: How much are you giving of yourself when you give recognition to people?

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of Giving the Real Recognition Way and is the Chief Learning Officer of Rideau's Recognition Management Institute, a consulting and training company which helps leaders and managers get recognition right. He can be reached at RoySaunderson@Rideau.com. Also, check out the library of Real Recognition Radio shows.