Keeping Sight of the Recognition Basics

There are two ways to interact with others; we can see people as people or… not really see them at all. Philosopher Martin Buber refers to this concept as I/It, I/Thou. Connect with the person, and we experience I/Thou. See them as the means to an end or as a nameless source of frustration, and we interact from the I/It.

Here’s an example: A woman told me her flight had been delayed due to bad weather. People waited in line to their reschedule flight. One after another they approached the counter and vented their wrath at the agent (I/It). When it was her turn, this woman expressed sympathy for what the agent was going through (I/Thou).

The agent’s eyes misted, she smiled, and then booked the woman on her new flight, upgrading her to first class! This passenger wasn’t trying to get upgraded, she simply noticed the person in front of her. The result was an appreciative ticket agent who wanted to help

Effective workplace recognition improves productivity in the same way. It produces a connection that creates loyalty and engagement. Don’t lose sight of it

Copyright 2007 Cindy Ventrice

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1 Response to “Keeping Sight of the Recognition Basics”


  1. 1 Rabbi Dennis S. Ross November 4, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks, Cindy. As you point to, it is all about holding your ground, and at the same time, see the relationship from both sides — yours and your conversation partner’s. It means seeing what you need and what the next person needs, all at the same time. I talk about this as well in my book, “God in Our Relationships: Spirituality between People from the Teachings of Martin Buber.”


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My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


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