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The Gift of Acknowledgment

January 22, 2017
Mary Jane Copps

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The Gift of Acknowledgment b (1)

It was one of those bitter winter days in Toronto. There was no snow, but the wind was fierce, gathering speed as it whipped around buildings and easily made its way through coats, hats and mitts. Brrrr!

I didn’t have far to walk – a little over a block – and for most of it my head was down to protect my eyes and face from the frigid blasts, but I had to look up at an intersection and that’s when I saw her.

Her pronounced limp made her noticeable on the crowded street. A young woman, she moved slowly along the sidewalk; it looked like a painful journey.

And there were other things – she had no boots, her ankles looked smaller than my wrists and her hands were bare, holding her coat closed against the wind.

My head down again, I was set to walk quickly past her but … she called out, asking for help.

Her voice was soft, quiet. I had difficulty understanding what she needed. It sounded like she was asking for assistance getting to an appointment, navigating a set of stairs. As she spoke I looked around, wondering which building, how far she was going. It was unclear how I could help.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m having trouble hearing you.” And I leaned in a little closer so I could capture her words.

That’s when she said with great clarity, “Thank you for acknowledging me.” I felt then, and still do, like she had given me an amazing gift.

The word acknowledge, very simply, means “to recognize”, a vital component of any communication. When we are speaking with or trying to reach our prospects and customers, how often are we truly acknowledging them, recognizing them?

Do we acknowledge their hectic schedule? Their frustrations? Their problems? Do we really give our full attention to them – leaning in closer and fully listening to what they are saying?

We often get so preoccupied with our own thoughts, deadlines, challenges, we cease to listen, to hear what our clients really need and want.

Acknowledgment is not always easy, but it is the foundation of trust and long-lasting relationships. (Tweet This!) Creating it, giving it, involves both practice and patience, but if you are growing a business, it’s absolutely worth it.

As for the young woman in Toronto, she wanted only money. She created a story around her request, about her sister and a taxi and several other things, but I didn’t need her to soften her ask. It was cold, I was carrying an expensive coffee and wearing warm clothes … and she had already given me this blog post. I put $5 in her hand and hoped she’d get herself some mitts.

#InspireConversation

What’s The Phone Lady Doing? 

 

January 24 – “Tell Me More” – Increased Sales Through the Art of Conversation, LaserQuest,Niagara -on-the-Lake, ON

January 25 – What Makes Relationship? Oceanex (Tele-training session)

January 25 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

January 26 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, TD Bank Group, (Tele-training session)

February 1 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, TD Bank Group, (Tele-training session)

February 2 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

February 3 – Building Relationships, Oceanex (Tele-training session)

February 7 – Phone Skills Matter, NSCC Waterfront, Halifax, NS

February 8 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

February 9 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, TD Canada Trust (Tele-training session)

February 15 – Maintaining Relationships, Oceanex (Tele-training session)

February 15 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

February 16 – Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, OWL, Halifax, NS

February 16 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

February 22 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

March 2 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

March  8 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

March 14 – Phone Skills for Job Search and On the Job, Employment Solutions Society, Bridgewater, NS

March 16 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

March 29 – Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, Job Junction, Halifax, NS

March 30 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

April 12 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

April 29 – Entrepreneurial Development Conference & Expo, Building Relationships on the Phone, Halifax, NS

May 3 – Improving Telephone Communication, Institute of Professional Management, Halifax, NS

May 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Cumberland, Amherst, NS

May 16 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

July 11 –  Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

August 21 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

October 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

November 7 – Coaching Your Team to Pick Up the Phone, CCUA, Virtual Conference

November 14 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

December 5 – Pick Up the Phone & Build Relationships, CCUA, Virtual Conference

 

 

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Steve Foran says:

    #gratitudeatwork a pleasure to read

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thank you, Steve. When I share this story in person, the majority of people end up with tears in their eyes. It was a very powerful moment for me. And it did make me think of you!

  2. Cathy Cornelius says:

    Acknowledgment is a powerful word! Love your story, you are a wonderful story teller!

  3. Carolyn Judd says:

    I, as well, enjoyed the story and found its meaning resonated. I believe we have all been in some similar situation when we can chose to notice someone’s needs or just pass by.

    Also, I am wondering how one signs up for your courses above. I am interested in the Feb 16 webinar for Physiotherapy clinics.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks, Carolyn. It is always fascinating to me which moments in my life turn into appreciated blog posts. I will contact you by email about February 16.

  4. Glenn Stewardson says:

    Thank you for the reminder today.

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