by Roy Saunderson | November 05, 2012
When attempting to give genuine praise and appreciation our efforts can often be marred by the perceptions of others. People can question our motives and even judge the authenticity of how we express the recognition we give. Our challenge, then, is to strive to live and give so those around us feel we have given them "real" recognition. Check out and apply these principles for giving more authentic recognition:

1. Wonderful curiosity. Develop a polite inquisitiveness to discover the fascinating interests people have and the amazing value they bring to whatever arena you work in. Being curious will allow you to see deeper into what people really do and like.
2. Thankful gratitude. Position times in your day, especially at the very beginning, to stop and ponder what, and who, you are grateful for. Allow this reflection to stimulate taking action to acknowledge those who came to mind and to tell them why.
3. Warm compassion. It is important to act upon our feelings and uncover a strong desire to lift people up and help them feel better about themselves than before we interacted with them. Put more care into the appreciation you give so your employees will feel it.
4. Honest self-appreciation. The irony inherent in giving recognition to others is that we must sincerely appreciate ourselves first in order to recognize the worth of another. Take time for personal introspection and acknowledge the gifts you have.
5. Other-centeredness. To be authentic, recognition must never be about us and is always about someone else. By being a grand observer of life and people you will see things all around you that merit appreciation. Get ready to be blown away!
6. Open vulnerability. Don’t be caught up in yourself or guarded about saying things the wrong way. Be open to the moment and learn to express genuine admiration for what to you see people do at work, home and play. You’ll see the right words will simply come.
7. Profound love. It is said love is an action word and not an adjective. The perception of being authentic with our words will come through our actions. As we lead through serving others our example will shine through what we say and do loud and clear.
8. Genuine respect. No one can genuinely feel fully appreciated and recognized until they have been shown real respect and had their contributions validated. You can love the wrong things but you can’t respect the wrong things. Esteem people around you first before valuing what they do.
9. Fearless courage. Just give recognition everywhere and anytime you can, and become a recognition revolutionary. Decide that you will be the emissary of positive spoken words and demonstrated actions acknowledging all things good and all good people.
10. Consistent resiliency. We should return to these foundational principles often to create the authentic recognition experiences those around us desire. If we slip up we need to spring back and recover our true intentions and our ability to be real.