How to Get the Best Recommendations in the World!
“There are two things people want more than sex and money…recognition and praise.”
Mary Kay Ash
In today’s world of accelerating change, connectivity and learning have become the keys to our success.
In our social networking program, we teach people how to use LinkedIn, Facebook and other digital platforms to build relationships with the right people as well as their intended market. In other words, social media isn’t about sales, it was founded to build relationships. Before that is understood, many people ask me, “How can I get more recommendations?”
The answer is simple, give them.
Successful people are always building strong support systems. The quality of that support actually determines if people will succeed or fail in their mission, vision, and purpose. One of the essential skillsets lies in our capacity to both give and receive praise.
There is far more value in writing an in-depth recommendation rather than a quick-clip skill endorsement. Writing a brilliant recommendation transforms the recipient’s day and can have a lasting effect on their career. When the recipient receives the message, LinkedIn adds a note: “Why don’t you return the favor and give Karen a recommendation?” The best time for someone to write us a recommendation is when they are in a state of gratitude.
For a moment, consider that it could be just as important to accept praise from others with grace. When successful people are praised, they accept the words with positive energy. The most common response is, “Thank you.” But what of the people who respond to a gift with, “You shouldn’t have?” “It was nothing?” How does that impact the person giving the gift? It tells them, don’t look at me, don’t judge me, and don’t pay attention. We actually train the giver to not do it again. While this might sound a bit like splitting hairs. Over time, the cumulative impact of pushing ourselves against the gift of praise shapes our success or lack of it. My company plays an active role in transforming careers and our observations have brought us to the conclusion the most common reason we fail is from isolation.
Here are a few tips in writing a great recommendation:
Under tremendous odds, John’s developed a cellular breakthrough that will save the lives of countless cancer patients. He has a singular ability in attracting some of the world’s best scientific talent because of his unwavering passion, enthusiasm, and fairness. He plays an active role in elevating the careers of his direct reports. John possesses the two most important characteristics of individuals who make it to the top of their profession, brilliance, and humility.
Practice generosity in your words and with your emotions. Consider the impact of John’s endorsement if it opened with, “John is a good scientist.”
Tell the Truth
Readers have radar for inauthenticity. It is far better to write a short and enthusiastic recommendation than padding the words with too many superlatives.
Move Beyond LinkedIn
Praise people every single day. Tell them how much they are contributing to your life. Praise your children for good grades. Praise your spouse for standing behind you on good days and bad days. Call the teacher that changed your world. Find someone on your team that needs encouragement. Too busy to do that? You might be in the wrong job.
Technology is eliminating task work. Many people are getting kicked to the curb is from change. But work isn’t disappearing, it is moving. The emerging work, the work that matters, the work that is interesting, rewards for the very skills that make life worthwhile. This is the time to shift gears and find work that rewards for empathy, interest in others, active learning, problem-solving, telling stories, supporting others, building communities, and improving the lives of others.
If you want help with examples, simply click on my profile Link and you will find many examples in how to transform someone’s day.