Purpose and Recognition

Published: 10 Sep 2021 Tagged: childrenclassroomEducationmanagementparentspositive behaviourpositive behaviour for learningpositive behaviour supportpositive parentingpositive psychologypositive reinforcementpositive teachingrecognitionrewardingschoolteachersToastmastersworkplace
Purpose and Recognition

Every single day, we wake up and start doing something. It could be related to work, studies or personal interests, the reasons for every activity done during the day could be the most varied ones. However, sometimes we perform activities which not only benefit ourselves, but affect the rest of our communities in a positive way. In moments such as these, we feel we can make a difference in the world, and it inspires us to keep doing more and more because it’s a win-win situation.

Still, sometimes we can’t notice how good we do to other people, we just do it because there’s an internal force driving us for that. It could be called purpose. Some people don’t even think they have a purpose for what they do, but they keep doing and generating benefits for themselves and others. Others, lose their energy after some attempts to do something and not feeling whether to stop or to go on. In cases like these, recognition is necessary, some external input to reassure that the person should keep doing that. And of course, receiving recognition when you know your purpose is the best scenario, when you boost yourself and is boosted by others.

Our Executive Director, Binh Doan, is this kind of person who knows his purpose and drives his activities for the wellbeing of others in each and every activity he performs. And his services are worth recognition as we can see in his recent Area Director Merit Award in recognition for outstanding service, given to him by Toastmasters Area 10 – Waratah Division.

However, Binh emphasises that recognition should not be only big things such as awards. There are many ways to recognise people and boost their spirit, no matter if it’s a learning environment, a workplace or a family home. He listed some interesting tips to recognise students, children and employees, reassuring their value and inspiring them to keep going in their activities:

  • Positive phone call. While parents are usually afraid of receiving calls from school because they tend to be about negative events involving their child, there’s an opportunity to invert it by calling parents/carers to make sure they know about an important accomplishment or milestone achieved by the child.
  • Certificates of achievement, accomplishment boards. When the child completes some especially challenging activity or module, a symbolic certificate is a material way to recognise their accomplishment. This works as well in a corporate environment: Employee of the Month is an example of this.
  • Positive achievement economy. The teacher, parents or manager generates a system that rewards good behaviour, project milestone, or personal improvement with a currency. The achiever can use this currency to “buy” things from their interest: a special chair or desk, a better parking spot, a voucher to the movies, extra time to use the computer, stickers and other options.
  • Model board. When the student or worker performs some activity or project with special quality, that work could be put on a board to become the expected standard, recognising the impressive quality of that performer.

It’s very important that you recognise children or employees for outstanding achievements, and not rewarding them just by doing their minimum effort. There must be a standard, and recognition comes from two aspects: achieving (or surpassing) the standard and honest effort to achieve it. Sometimes, there are barriers preventing the child or employee to achieve the expectation, but true effort must be recognised – which is different from rewarding.

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for educators, parents and managers, so recognition systems must be present to reveal how important these kids or workers’ performances are to themselves, and to the whole community. We congratulate Binh Doan for the recognition of his performance and we are happy that his purpose keeps benefitting people in so many aspects!

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