In our busy worlds, we sometimes don’t get the time to acknowledge the contribution of another person. People are helping other people all the time, so it is easy just to let it pass without recognising it. When we do, it can end up as a scant “thanks” or “cheers”. Whilst that may land with the person, it doesn’t really show appreciation and is a little lazy. It loses it’s meaning, and therefore lessens its impact. If you really want to show appreciation, a little more effort can make a big difference. Maybe it is time to have a lesson in acknowledging.

There is a formula that you can use to help structure an acknowledgement. The formula is EVENT=IMPACT=MEANING. An acknowledgement has to recognise something positive that has happened, so there will always be an event. This adds substance because the event is a fact. It happened and was noticed. When you witnessed this event, it had an impact on you. You had some sort of emotional response to whatever you came into your experience. You had feelings! When you have feelings, you attribute some meaning to those feelings. That meaning is usually a reflection of who the other person was being to have caused the event. Let me give you an example:
“When you invited me to meet your friends, I felt delighted that I would have the chance to increase my network. It tells me that you really care about helping people make new relationships.”
There is a value you have seen in the other person that has impressed you. In this case, the value is that this person cares about getting people together. Let’s try another:
“When you told that story about your embarrassing evening, you had me crying with laughter. It shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously.”
There could be multiple values here, sharing experiences, having a sense of fun, entertaining other people.

This does require a bit of thought, some time to stop and think a little deeper about what happened. At the time, your mind told you in an instant that this was a positive event. We all assess situations quickly. You will have had some good feelings that accompanied that instant assessment. A smile, a warmth, calmness, excitement or even tears could be the feelings. Your body will give you signals that compound that assessment. If you explore those feelings and the event, it wont take you long to figure out what was positive and why it made you feel that way. It will often be that the value you recognised in the other person is a value that you hold true as well. So if you know your own values, it is easier to recognise them in other people. So what is important to you? What do the things that you do say about you as a person?

So when you have those three components, the event, the impact on you and the meaning or values you saw in the other person, you have enough to deliver the acknowledgement. To really embellish the acknowledgement, you can preface the sentence with a quality you saw in the person. Here are some examples that lead up to the word whTo really embellish the acknowledgement, you can preface the sentence with a quality you saw in the person. Here are some examples that lead up to the word when:
You were really brave when….
You were at your best when….
I loved your passion when….
You made a difference when….
You came alive when….
You led the way when….
You really shone when….

So have a practice in your mind. Think of an event that had a positive impact on you. Think about how it made you feel. Think about what you saw in the other person that you admired. Think about the values that were displayed. Write down the acknowledgement and play with the words until if feels right. When it feels right, you know that you can deliver it with genuineness and compassion. The compassion comes from the desire to let the other person know that they have had a positive impact on you and the world. When you recognise someone in this way, you let them know that it is appreciated. It also encourages them to do more of it and continue to have an positive impact on the world. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

Author's Bio: 

Kerwin Hack is a career coach and hypnotherapist from Unlocking The Cage. He runs seminars on personal and career development and provides individual coaching. - Do You Have The Courage To Fly?