Acknowledgement lets someone know you notice their presence and contribution.
Appreciation says, “Thank You” for their efforts.
Affirmation takes acknowledgement and appreciation further by reinforcing the desired behaviours of the other person.

So, how do you practice Affirmation?
Many people confuse Affirmation with Praise, or even Flattery.
What’s the difference?
Very simply, Flattery is largely unmerited. Flattery is not linked to what the person has done.  Flattery inflates the ego.

Praise, on the other hand, is deserved.  It is based on a person’s contribution. But Praise is often generalized …
“Good job … Well done … Great!”

Unfortunately, too much praise often gets interpreted as lack of sincerity. Affirmation takes praise further by pointing specifically what was well done.
“Good job! Thank you for taking time to develop two contingency plans.  That was what contributed to the success of this project.”
“What I appreciate about you is your attention to detail. Therefore, we found the error that led to a cost saving of $XX. Thank you very much.”
“You went the extra mile to develop the client relationship and secured increased sales as a result.”
“Your sensitivity to the mood of the office environment helps me moderate my management approach.”
“Thank you for your feedback.  I didn’t realise my words were having such an unintended effect.”

Here’s your EQ Challenge to carry into the new year … Give out at least 3 affirmations a day, everyday!

Best wishes for a great Christmas and New Year from all of us at the Kandidata Asia Team!