In our last blog post I shared on the 3 levels of affirmation but did you know that there are 6 ways to acknowledge someone.  Acknowledgement is observing the person at their best and calling it out. It’s a way to say to someone “I see you”. In the Zulu tribe this is the way they greet one another – “Sawubona”. Translated this means “we see you. “it is a form of deep witnessing and presence.

Acknowledgment is foundational to building trust and intimacy in a relationship. Is has a potent effect on both the person being acknowledged and the relationship between the giver and the receiver.


Discover It

As you acknowledge someone the words not only encourage but also builds better relationship between the giver and receiver. When delivering acknowledgement think whether it is best to do it privately or publicly. Someone people respond to one way but not the other. Also remember the three levels of affirmation shared in part one. Celebrating Progress , Expressing Belief, Naming Identify .

Your acknowledgment can be aimed at any of these levels.

1. Appreciation 

Recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something

“I really appreciate you completing that task on time. You definitely worked hard on the task.

2. Validation

The action of checking or proving the validity or accuracy of something

“I can see you’ve given this task a great deal of attention”: It really shows the quality of the outcome.

3. Recognition 

Knowing someone or something because you have seen it , heard it or experienced it before.

“The level of expertise you have delivered around this is outstanding. Once again you have exceeded our expectations.

4. Affirmation

Action of support or approval

“I want to acknowledge your ability to stay calm under pressure. This is a vital quality you   bring to the team”

 5. Confirmation

A statement of something that is definitely true or accurate.

“Its great that you took on this project . It suited your energy levels and your ability to develop key relationships needed to ensure success”.

6. Thanking

Expressing gratitude

Thanks for taking the time to focus 100% on this project. It gave me the space I needed to get the buy in from above.”

Material on 6 ways to Acknowledge is taken from the Conversations of Substance Training Workbook by Michelle Loch – Leading Humans

Who would you like to build a better relationship with. Is it someone in your family, a friend, a work colleague, your boss, your employee, the students in your classroom or someone in your community. It can be an individual or a group of people. Spend sometime this week thinking about who you may like to sprinkle the salt of acknowledgment over then create a plan to acknowledge that person or group. Create some variety in the way that you affirm others by using the 6 ways of acknowledgment written in this post. Be as creative as you like in how you deliver your acknowledgments.

You can create the world you want simple by using words.

This week’s Design Tips


Brain Tip 2#

Chemical Cocktails and Conversations

Positive comments and conversations produce a chemical reaction in the brain . They spur the production of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that elevates our ability to communicate, collaborate, and trust others by activating networks in our prefrontal cortex. Oxytocin metabolizes more quickly than the fear hormone cortisol, so its effects are less dramatic and less long-lasting than its counterpart cortisol. As negative words and conversations occur the brain goes into threat state, shutting down the pre frontal cortex and releasing cortisol which can stay in the body for up to 26 hours.

“How are your words impacting those around you?

Brain Tip Challenge 2#

I am conscious of the impact of my words.

I use trust building ( oxytocin ) language and avoid trust-breaking ( cortisol) language.

Needs Work? Or Getting There Or Totally Me

Heart Tip 2#

Salty conversations

Have you ever heard the saying “let your conversation always be seasoned with salt”. If salt can add flavour and preserve food then the same applies to our words. We can either use words to add value to someone and preserve our relationships or we can do the opposite. Use the 6 levels of acknowledgement this week to add salt into someone’s life.

Heart Tip Challenge 2 #

I am conscious of the impact of my words ,
My conversations are always seasoned with salt

Needs Work? Or Getting There Or Totally Me

Strengths Tip 2#

Acknowledging Strengths

Have you done the ‘Gallup Strength Finders’ questionnaire? What’s great about the information is that it describes the unique order of your 34 strengths. The information provided helps you to be self-aware of the way that others naturally think, feel and behave. The strengths questionnaire can be done with adults and students. It assists people in knowing themselves and others. As a result this can help to build better relationships at home, with family and friends, in your workplace and in the community. Its great for individuals, teams, managers and organisations. If you are aware of yours and others dominant talents then use the 6 types of acknowledgment to encourage others.

Strengths Tip Challenge 2 #

I am conscious of the impact of my words.

I am aware of my own and other strengths. I take time our of my day to acknowledge

strengths in myself and others.