Winning an award

by | Jul 27, 2018 | Articles

Winning an award

Have you ever won an award? It could be anything from an employee of the month, the biggest pumpkin award, star pupil of the week, or even the much-coveted Nobel prize. It’s not the prestige that matters but how it makes us feel.

Awards make us feel good. They are an acknowledgement of a job well done and justification for the agony, the self-doubt, and the hard work that went into winning them. Awards can make us feel proud, happy, overwhelmed, and delighted. They give us validation and boost our confidence.

The importance of recognition

Acknowledgement and recognition are vital human needs. Winning and losing generate strong emotional responses in us. We have evolved to want to win because historically it may have been the difference between life and death. Winning a battle against the marauding Vikings meant life and land while losing was death or slavery. And so we have evolved to want to win and we get pleasure from winning.

There’s a concept in biology called the winner effect. It has been observed that when an animal wins a battle in the wild, it’s more likely to win subsequent battles, even after accounting for other explanations like physical differences. Winning is self-reinforcing. The same phenomenon is seen in humans. A study of male tennis players found that the winner of a closely fought tie-break had a 60% chance of winning the next set. The effect was not observed in female tennis players, suggesting a possible link with testosterone.

Why winning an award can boost your career and community

Receiving an award brings more benefits than just winning. Aside from making us feel good, it can also offer a great boost to business. An award brings credibility and opens doors to new opportunities. It can impress potential clients and boost sales, improve employee engagement and loyalty. Awards demonstrate that we take pride in what we do and that we do it well.

Awards are often a focus for communities of interest. Recognising the good and great in a community every year sets a standard for everybody to see and agree on. And perhaps to inspire others to meet or exceed that standard next year! “
A rising tide lifts all boats
” as the saying goes— looking at it that way, awards are a real contributor to continuous improvement and the advancement of society.

Why winning an award is good for academic achievement

Awards in schools and universities are also an effective way to recognise academic excellence.

Winning a school contest or competition can propel students to the top of their class, fostering a sense of leadership and excellence in the classroom. As students get closer to university, awards can help garner scholarships and help provide career direction for students. 

How to turn awards into action

Once you’ve won an award, what’s next? How can you turn those feelings of excitement and pride into action that furthers your community, career and life? 

Steps to take after winning a professional award

  • Post the good news on social media.
    LinkedIn is perfect for posting your recognition, where professional accolades can create new connections and job opportunities. If you have a certificate, post a photo of it or of you holding it! Be sure to tag the awards program and use any relevant hashtags to help garner more post views.
  • Network with other winners and finalists.
    Get engaged with this new community. Create connections with any judges, finalists, and awards program managers. 
  • Engage with the community.
    Seek ways to share your knowledge and insight from your industry, using your recent recognition to provide relevance to your insights and opinions. 
  • Give back to your industry.
    Think about ways you can give back. Perhaps this means providing opportunities for new people in your industry or interns or finding ways to volunteer your time to help further the industry and your community.

By celebrating excellence and all that is good in humanity we are valuing human achievement and encouraging more of it. Let’s never forget that and always remember to acknowledge effort and excellence.

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