The Power of a Compliment


Who doesn’t want to be recognized and complimented? I can tell you I do. My guess is so do you. One of the greatest tools for a manager, business owner, and/or sales professional is being able to sincerely compliment. A tool not easily understood by most and typically not used. Why?

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In my article Top 5 Management Skills I talk about employee motivators and what they are; Appreciation, recognition, working with people they like and respect, and feeling like they contribute to something worthwhile. Taking this to the next level… Couldn’t compliments become a powerful tool to get this message across and thus motivate? You better believe they can!

Compliments, Giving or Receiving, Can be Hard

Amazingly most of us are uncomfortable with giving and receiving compliments. In giving we somehow feel like we are lessening our own worth. In receiving we feel uncomfortable as to not show too much pride. This simply couldn’t be further from the truth.

Uncomfortable with giving compliments?

  • Make it specific – genuine. General statements appear insincere. Be specific to what you are offering a compliment on. Now it will appear genuine. Avoid compliments at the expense of someone else.
  • Be careful on how “chummy” you are with your compliments. If you don’t have a close relationship with the person keep the compliment less personal.
  • Be cognizant of the timing and place of your compliments. Not all compliments should be public.
  • Add a question to your compliment. This is a great way to continue the conversation. “How did you get to the point were you are today”.
  • Don’t expect to receive a compliment back.
  • Do smile!

“A true compliment comes from the giver’s heart and impacts the receiver’s heart. Compliments are often remembered long after they are spoken. They can lift, heal, and inspire great things.” – Nick Ramsay

Uncomfortable with receiving compliments?

  • Don’t make it about you. A simple thank you works many times. Acknowledge how kind it was that they gave you a compliment.
  • Don’t discount the compliment. By down playing the compliment you are simply showing bad manners not humility.
  • Do acknowledge the compliment and STOP there. This is not a time to go on and on about how great you really are. Again, many times, a simple thank you works.
  • Do smile!

Social Media and Compliments – A Quick Note
A fantastic feature of LinkedIn, for example, is that it gives you a powerful platform to say great things about your connections. Endorsements and recommendations can easily be given without much effort. I have built many a relationship starting with a simple endorsement.

Never underestimate the power of a compliment in your career and personal life. When a compliment is given the receiver feels great and remembers the act. When its all said and done… Compliments are really not that hard. Look around… I guarantee you there are people and actions that need to be recognized.

Compliments are indeed an extremely powerful tool. When was the last time you complimented someone? Make a commitment today to start giving out sincere compliments!

Photos courtesy of 123RF

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