Three Ways to Let Your Team Know You See Them


Some people like to hear their recognition, whereas others like to see recognition and be able to show others. Some people need to experience recognition; they must taste it, touch it, or most likely do something as a result of it. 

Leveraging The VAK Model to Maximize the Impact of Recognition

Walter Burke Barbe proposed the VAK model for learning. The model is useful because it allows us to understand how people process information, which is essential to communication. People learn and process information visually, auditorily, or kinesthetically. 

The VAK model reminds us that people process information differently. Recognition is really just information; therefore, we must realize that people will process recognition differently. 

The task for every leader is to connect and find out how individuals prefer to receive information, which is also how they prefer to be recognized.

  • For visual people, send them emails, hand-written notes of appreciation, or post accolades on a bulletin board for all to see
  • For people who process auditorily, recognize them verbally in meetings, daily huddles, and in front of their peers.
  • For people who process kinesthetically, recognize their efforts by taking them to lunch, giving them an elevated role or task, or simply get out in the operation and work alongside them.

Here are three ways to let your team know you see them:

  1. Recognize their talent by celebrating and praising their strengths.
  2. Recognize their effort by sharing stories about how hard they’re working.
  3. Recognize their uniqueness by letting them know what makes them special.

Recognition is, of course, a critical piece of leading and inspiring people.  The best leaders, however, understand how each person on the team prefers to be recognized; which ensures their recognition is personal, heartfelt, and thoughtful.

Like my Mom always tells me, “Meet people where they are.

Meeting people where they are includes recognizing them in the ways they prefer.  Find out if your team members are visual, auditorily inclined, or if they prefer experiencing recognition kinesthetically.  

Then, go make some magic for them to lift them up.

Have a great day.

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