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Our need for recognition

Life lessons in 2023

How do you get your need for recognition met? Is it time to be kind to yourself and meet it in a positive way?

I am part of a totally brilliant team. Not just good — totally brilliant. I’ve been in business a long time and every day I feel honoured to work with people that are so hard working, creative, inspiring and just all-over lovely. That’s what makes this story so bad.

We were on a whole-team call, celebrating a big win — everyone was super happy about being selected to create what the client called a ‘market-leading’, three-tiered leadership development programme. Everyone was excited and busy saying what an incredible job our Solutions Director had done in winning it. The problem was, she hadn’t won it — I had. Due to a holiday, she’d been totally out of the loop. Now, of course, if she’d been on the call, she’d have been the first person to say “it wasn’t me, it was Elke”, but she wasn’t there. I tried to be cool, because of course, it’s always a team effort. But I didn’t feel cool. I felt unseen, unappreciated and, if I’m really honest, pretty annoyed. In a moment of weakness, I let my frustration out, letting the team know, “it would be good to actually be recognised for what I did” and instantly regretted it. I felt so embarrassed. So small. So ashamed.

But here’s the interesting thing. It would be easy to think the moral of this story is to show up as our best selves, to rise above these unintentional
hurts. But for me there was a much deeper learning: it was finally time to acknowledge my very human need for recognition. There are five driving forces every human being has; they’re like universal values, and include the need for certainty, variety, belonging, service, and recognition. But for me, recognition has always been the one I find hardest to own — somehow it feels needy, big headed and embarrassing. Here’s the important bit: the driving forces are human needs — we all have them, and if we don’t acknowledge that, we will often find ourselves trying to get them met in negative ways, unknowingly, and ultimately, destructively.

My learning

My lesson of 2023 is to truly acknowledge my need for recognition and to get it met in positive ways. And, if I need help with that, asking for that help from a place of deep self-awareness and self-love.

We created a book of life lessons, a collection of honest shares from the Ivy House team’s learning 2023. It gives you an insight into some of the incredible people that make this business and your programmes possible, and hopefully give you some food for thought as we head into 2024.

So grab a cuppa, enjoy, and — if you’re willing — we’d love you to share some of your reflections and learnings from this year too. This amazing, courageous community really matters to us, as does creating a space to learn and grow, together.

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