by Lynette Silva
Recognize This! – Great messages of recognition require details about the meaningful and long-lasting impact the recipient has had on the giver.
Though I usually catch it in replays, The Daily Show is one of my favorite TV shows. I appreciate how it consistently captures the news of the moment, often tackling very uncomfortable subjects with humor, shining a spotlight into sometimes dark and ugly areas that we should be examining more closely. But this blog isn’t about me extolling the virtues of my favorite shows (and aren’t you lucky our editor wouldn’t let me get away with that anyway). This blog is about sharing best practices, guidance and principles for thoughtful, meaningful and impactful social recognition. And that’s where Stephen Colbert’s send off for Jon Stewart on last night’s Daily Show episode comes in. Watch the clip below (and apologies for the ad), then my thoughts after the jump.
Why do I call this a master class in recognition messages? Because Stephen hits all the essential elements of a truly impactful, meaningful and memorable message of appreciation:
- What Jon did – his actions and behaviors – that are deserving of appreciation
- The long-lasting impact those efforts had on others
- Lots of specific details to remind Jon of the moments that mattered most
Stephen’s message, in part, was:
“You said to me and to many other people here years ago never to thank you because we owe you nothing. This is one of the few times that I’ve known you to be dead wrong. We owe you because we learned from you. We learned from you by example how to do a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect. You are infuriatingly good at your job, OK?”
One other aspect to note in the video – the virtuous circle of appreciation started by Jon saying “thank you” to all his collaborators over the years, prompting Stephen’s message of returned appreciation, followed by a huge pile-on of hugs and thanks. That’s the nature of well expressed, well intentioned recognition. It continues to feed on itself, spreading ever outward and engulfing others in the experience of gratitude and praise.
What’s one of the best messages of appreciation you’ve received?
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