is it my need or is it a basic human need? why do we need to feel recognised? aren't we conditioned to believe that internal recognition is more important than external recognition? if that's true, why then does it feel so good when we are finally recognised by others?
humans have a basic natural desire to feel valued. to feel like what they are doing has some form of purpose bigger than themselves. if recognition only comes from within, does that really satiate that drive for a bigger purpose? consciously you can be fully convicted that what you're doing matters, but how long does your conviction last if you feel you're the only one recognising it?
for most of my life, i've felt very overlooked when it comes to different aspects in my life. ever since i was a kid, i had teammates who opted for drugs and alcohol get selected for teams i was busting my arse trying to make. in college, i was overlooked for captaincy because i wasn't "liked" by everyone. and today, i continue to be overlooked. but the question i ask myself is, why do you care? why does it matter whether others recognise your abilities? is it not enough to have conviction of your influence and worth?
i would love to say yes, but that would be betraying what i'm feeling. the truth is, my internal conviction picks me up when i do get knocked back, but it's not enough to make me feel valued. i, and i think it would be fair to say we, need external recognition. we need to feel appreciated. we need to feel valued. and we need things to feel fair.
adam's theory of equity states that if my input is more significant than another's, yet my output is less than theirs, i'm going to feel pretty disgruntled about it. i'm going to start questioning, hang on, why am i doing all of this if Sally over there can do less and still receive more? humans want what is easy; we're literally wired that way - so if someone is doing more but receiving less, i guarantee they won't keep doing more for long.
so what can you do? if you're in a position of power, be sure to keep things fair. recognise your people for their efforts. and not just verbally; offer them that promotion. offer them financial bonuses. offer them that opportunity. advocate for them. humans need praise, they need to feel valued, they need to feel like what they're doing matters. so how can you make someone feel like they matter?