WOW Word-Of-the-Week #403: Acknowledgement

April 24, 2012 by  

Acknowledgement – the act of recognizing and validating one’s existence.

How did you do last week when it came to engaging the people around you? Did you ask questions to draw them in?  Did you find a Relevant area in which you could connect with them?

This is the second WOW featuring, “Sarita’s REAL Rules of Engagement: How to Create a Communication Connection.”

Eye Contact
This is certainly nothing new, but if you’re not using eye contact at least 70% of the time, people  will not feel that you’re connecting with them.   That’s true with individual conversation as well as when giving a speech.   By the way, that also means no multi-tasking such as texting while talking. (And I say, give them your full attention and you will connect easily)

Let people feel heard.   Even if you don’t agree with the other person’s comment, at least acknowledge it—“I hear you”, “I understand what you’re saying”—before  sharing your views.
(Another simply easy way to acknowledge someone is to nod your head when they are speaking)

Learn about them
In the words of Dale Carnegie “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”  In a public speaking  situation, that means learn as much about the audience as possible before speaking to them. (This is so true when you are in a position to “Help Your Customers Buy” from you)

So, rock these REAL rules and the result will be engaging conversation and presentations!

Copyright 2012 Sarita Maybin. All rights reserved.

This week’s focus is acknowledging the people you come in contact with. Are you comfortable making eye contact? Do you let people talk without interrupting? Do you learn as much as you can about your customers, guests, clients and members?

Sarita’s book, “If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?” is available on

Reader Responses

“Great words. I can’t tell you how many meetings I have attended here at work where some of the people are sitting there checking their emails on their iPods or Blackberries, texting or checking phone messages, all while the speaker is trying to keep everyone’s attention. Frankly, it shows a lack of respect for the person speaking. If someone feels the need to check his or her messages, texts, tweets, emails or voice mail, do it before the meeting or wait until after the meeting is over. We are not that important that we have to check EVERY SINGLE MESSAGE that comes across our electronic devices. I have a cellphone, but I leave it turned off while at work. I will call my wife, my parents and my three-year-old’s daycare during my break times away from my desk. I don’t have an iPod, iPad, tablet, Blackberry or SmartPhone. And I don’t plan to get them. There was a story in last  Sunday’s New York Times about how all of these devices are ending the lively art of conversation as we know it.  Very few people want to pick up the phone to have a conversation. I had an old high school friend tell me recently, “Oh, I owe you a phone call,” as if we were keeping a telephone scorecard. I don’t need an excuse or a reason to pick up the phone; I just do it. It is not that hard. When it comes to office encounters, I make a point of making eye contact and asking how they are doing or inquire about their family. We all like to talk about ourselves; that is human nature. Even people I don’t know in the hall, I will make eye contact and say hello. There are a number of people who consciously avoid eye contact. I don’t know what the fear is, but it is there. Making eye contact, saying hello, inquiring about their day or lives, these are acknowledgments and validations of their existence. What is troubling to me, especially in this age of advanced technology, is the number of people who do not acknowledge phone calls or emails, especially when receiving invitations. That says more about those people than anything. Actually, it is sad. Great words, Susan. Thanks for the reminder.” – “Warrior” Joe