Would you be able to fathom in an age of Positive Psychology, that I grew up in a family environment who believed that when you praise a child, the evil ones will steal them or cause misfortune to befall. Mine is not the only family.
Children have names like pig, dog, or demeaning names, as dogs are not cute well-groomed poodles in a culture which eat them for food due to poverty.
Learning to affirm someone is hence, not a familiar trait to most of us. I could not help notice the irony when my Spanish Mentor Coach, was giving me coaching feedback about my lack of acknowledgment of my client, and spending 95% of our time together telling me where I needed to improve. 5% rushing through where I did well, before our 1hr session ended. Thankfully, I’m well trained by my culture to appreciate that I’m paying for her to tell me where I can improve, rather than being affirmed. (My strength is ideed Perspective taking.)
As an educator and coach, parent, we can acknowledge the people in our area of influence. Acknowledging my students in the virtual classroom for stepping out of their comfort zone and asking questions or attempting the answers. Even if the answers are not correct at first attempt, can I acknowledge their effort? Can I acknowledge their willingness to get out of their comfort zone, or even to clarify their learning?
How can I improve on “acknowledging” and “affirming” others? Here is a short list of what to watch out for, in acknowledging your “target”:
🍋 Accomplishment/ Achievement/ Awareness/ Appreciation
🍋Boldness/ Bravery (I’m hearing bravery/courage to try something new)
Commitment (I’m wondering what will you commit to today?)
Determination/ drive/ resolve/ desire (I hear your determination, I can see this is really important to you)
Effort ( Or you can acknolwedge the emotion. I can sense some emotion, I’m wondering what’s happening there)
One last thought is that “whatever you pay attention to, you will encourage more of”. If you want to encourage a positive behavior, expand on that. How true is this belief?
What are your thoughts on “acknowledging” and “affirming”?
How are you acknowledging yourself?
As my mentor coach pointed out, “thank you” – which I do a lot of – is not acknowledging someone.
What are some practices which you try out and would like to share with us in this space?
Remember, sharing is caring.