Did you watch the 2009 Academy Awards?

I enjoyed it and really liked the way they had former Oscar winners individually introduce the nominees for Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress.

What struck me is how the introductions demonstrated the power of acknowledgement. This is something we coaches do with our clients and I think we may forget how powerful it is.

Perhaps the best example was Shirley MacLaine’s introduction of Anne Hathaway. I felt like I was witness to an intimate conversation. Shirley spoke directly to Anne and Anne was visibly moved.

MacLaine: “Anne Hathaway We loved you as a princess, we loved you in Prada.”

Coaching Point: The power of using a person’s name when delivering heartfelt acknowledgement.

Camera cuts to Hathaway: She has her hand over her heart. She is so open and present, fully receiving what she is being told.

MacLaine: “And this year in Rachel Getting Married you fearless stepped into the shoes of someone struggling with addiction and grief. I think you are an amazing example. You’re not afraid to show both your dark and bright side.”

Coaching Point: Acknowledgement is most effective when you use specifics, detailing particular skills and situations.

MacLaine: “And by the way, I think you have an extraordinary voice, so keep singing too.”

Coaching Point: Sharing what we see for our clients that they may not see for themselves.

Camera cuts to Hathaway: With teary eyes she says, “Thank you! I love you.” Hathaway is so moved, so present and so real.

Coaching Point: Accurate, heartfelt acknowledgement is a wonderful gift we give to our clients!