What is it about recognition that makes us crave it? I reckon that even those who espouse to hate the limelight would still like to know when they are recognised for what they have done, or are doing. And it doesn’t need to be something grand like an Oscar award or a parade in your honour, or even a promotion at work. Sometimes recognition just in a few kind words to say “hey, I’ve noticed the hard work you’ve been doing” is enough. But what is it about that recognition that makes it so rewarding? Why do just a few simple words make us shine from the top of our head to our tiniest of toes?
I put it down to programming. It’s ingrained. We’re taught that if we do well, we get rewarded. Not unlike puppies or performing seals. As babies, when we took our first steps or said our first words we were praised and applauded, given hugs and kisses. As children we were conditioned to seek approval. From our parents. From our teachers. From our peers. It’s something we don’t lose as we grow up. We want our bosses to see our hard work, to recognise that we have gone that extra mile or completed that task that was particularly difficult, extra long or perhaps mind numbingly boring. We want our partners or flatmates to notice when we’ve mowed the lawn or cleaned the bathroom, or cooked a particularly delicious meal.
Why is that? Why do we crave recognition like this?
For me, the only person I can really speak on behalf of, I think it’s about not being taken for granted. I don’t need someone to constantly praise me, I’m not a child. However a little recognition does make a person feel nice. Every once in a while, so it doesn’t lose its effectiveness is best I believe.
While I write this I’m working in a law firm, supporting a solicitor with two legal secretaries supporting me offsite. Now I flick so much work at them, stuff that I could very well do (if I had 20 more hours a day) but would rather they handle. Sometimes I have to correct their work, but sometimes they draft a letter that is so well written, or complete a large and cumbersome task that I just have to send them an ‘Awesome work!’ email. The smilies and thank you emails I get back can make me almost see the smiles on their faces. Now I don’t do it for everything, not just because the volume of work would not allow it, but because I don’t think it would have the impact that it does when they actually get one.
Additionally, when we do good work as a team, and praise is given to me for my hard work, I’m not one to take that all for myself. It’s a team effort, and I make sure that my partners know that the girls who work with me have just as much right to their praise as I do. They work just as hard and should be recognised just as much. So I make sure they receive that recognition, as I’m aware that they were also conditioned as I was as a child, to strive for the best so someone will say ‘well done!’.
Now that you’ve read down to here you’re probably wondering just what am I babbling on about recognition for on this blog?
Well it’s because I want to recognise someone. Someone who may have felt taken for granted, though she wouldn’t say. Someone who I really have been taking for granted within our little Cauldrons’ community.
As many of you know, I left Christchurch and my bestest bestest friend ever, Debbie, in 2010 to move to Tonga and then to shift here to Sydney in 2011, leaving the majority of the work and responsibility for Cauldrons on her shoulders. Debbie has had to deal with earthquakes in Christchurch and shifting all the stock to her new and rather cute farm, organising the majority of the festival, representing us at the Body Mind Spirit festivals and other psychic fairs, dealing with the bulk of the calendars, suppliers and customers while I’m in my hidey hole here in Australia. And while I may have mentioned to her that life has gone nuts or my world may have turn upside down, she has had more than her (and a handful of people’s) fair share of dramas while holding down the fort (or is that holding up the broom?).
So this post, is my way of recognising Debbie, in some small way. I hope that when she reads this the child in her, conditioned to crave praise, starts smiling and shining. I appreciate her more than I can say, and I know that without her Cauldrons and the Cauldrons community would not exist in the form it is today. I wouldn’t have my footing in our world without her efforts and that has not gone unnoticed.
Thank you hon. A thousand times, thank you.
My advice to everyone is take time to recognise someone in your lives. Make them aware that you notice their effort. That you care enough to mention it and don’t take anyone for granted. Everyone needs and craves the opportunity to shine - from the top of their head to their tiniest of toes.