Acknowledgements in communication

2014-06-13

I am going to talk about acknowledgements, what they are, how they work and why they are important. May be a short or long post. I'll say "ack" whenever I mean "acknowledgement" because that's a long word to type over and over.

OK let's get started. First, what is an ack? An ack is something said or done to inform someone that his statement or action has been noted, understood and received.

These can be "OK", "Got it", "Ah, I see", "I understand" etc. This lets the person know you got his or her communication.

Actions can also be an ack, for example applause, you are acking a person's performance and also communicating that you liked it. A thumbs up. A nod. All of these are acks. They convey different meanings along with the ack as well.

Now a person that gives good acks makes you feel good. You like speaking with a person that gives good acks. You do not like speaking with a person that does not give good acks.

Acks can be messed up in several ways, too. Like for example, your ack is not good enough, your ack is not heard or you don't even give an ack. This leaves the other person hanging, the person is left feeling insecure over the fact that you heard him, most often these people will repeat themselves to make sure they were understood.

You can also give too much ack. Cannot think of an example for that one, but it can happen. Leaves the person overwhelmed.

You can also give the wrong kind of ack. Ever been bothered by someone repeating something over and over? Did you say "OK I got it!" in an irritated or angry manner? That is the wrong kind of ack. Yes, you are letting the person know you heard him, but since you said it in a bad manner the person cannot really be sure you heard him, since you may have just said it to shut the person up. Plus it leaves a bad feeling in the person.

You can also give an ack for when something is finished. You were ordered or asked to do something, you ack that letting the person you understood and will do it and then when you finish doing it you let the person know you did it. This is a more complete ack, in a sense, because you are letting the person know that his order was carried on, that means his communication was heard and also the person no longer has to continue worrying if you did it or not.

There are all kinds of tricks and workarounds and facts about acks. You will learn them all with experience, I am just sharing what I currently know.

Find out if you give good acks. It is an important piece of communication, without which communication is a huge pain in the bum.