How to give & receive compliments
Recently at a café I regularly visit I noticed a watch on the wrist of the café person who was serving me. I was struck by its distinctiveness.
I complimented the young woman on the watch and she received the compliment well. In addition to saying “Thank you” to me she made an additional comment that I appreciated and made me feel glad to have given the compliment.
With this interaction in mind here are simple steps for giving and receiving compliments:
1. Give genuine compliments readily, especially if you’re in a leadership position. This means, fairly obviously, to not make false compliments. It also means you should speak up if you think or feel something positive about a person, or their behaviour, dress or other things you notice. Many people are reluctant to give compliments (they may fear that their comment might not be well received or fear being rejected). This reluctance is unfortunate as a genuinely given compliment, in my experience, is universally appreciated.
2. In addition to stating the compliment add a descriptive comment, or the reason why you gave the compliment. Rather than only saying, “I really like your watch”, you could say (using my café interaction as an example) “I really like your watch . . . it’s distinctive with the large face”. This additional comment/reason will help the person better receive the compliment.
3. Receive a compliment by saying thank you and by adding a comment about what was said. For example, the café woman said the following: “Thank you – my sister gave it to me and I like it a lot”. That additional comment helped me feel good about giving the compliment (versus if the woman had just said “Thank you”).
The ‘how to apply‘ for this post: In the next seven days, trial giving one additional genuine compliment with the above steps in mind.