The Power of a Compliment

How often do you give out random compliments?  How often do you receive one? 

Your hair looks amazing today, you did so well presenting that subject, You are a really great friend to me, I love your outfit…… 

Compliments make us feel good — both giving and receiving them- FACT 

According to our good friend Wiki: A compliment means to praise, and flatter and to express approval or admiration to someone personally. A compliment is used as a courteous or pleasant statement of admiration. 

Feeling valued and appreciated are basic human needs, compliments help us communicate that appreciation we feel toward one another, and that makes us feel good. Scientists have found that being paid a compliment actually lights up the same parts of your brain that get activated when you get paid a monetary award. 

Other research suggests compliments and praise may help us when it comes to learning new motor skills and behaviours. 

It’s also important to embrace a compliment, the total British way is to snub a compliment or to downplay one right… Oh my hair, it’s awful! Thanks, but I’ve had this dress ages. …Why do we behave this way? 

Why don’t we instead try: Thank you, it makes my day to hear that or “I really put a lot of thought into this, thank you for noticing.” I generally feel by responding this way makes the giver of the compliment feel valued. 

The last few weeks have seen me delve a lot more into strengths, my own, my colleagues, friends, family and also random strangers…. Toni and I were recently asked to present at Leap Jersey where we encouraged the girls to get into pairs and give each other a compliment (some of these girls had only known each other a matter of days) What do you like about each other? What were your first impressions, what strengths has your partner shown? We heard some great words come out of that session; Courageous/ Strong/ Friendly/ You are like a Model…. The chatter, laughter and general good feeling was audible, I certainly left the room feeling positive and empowered and I hope it made the girls feel closer together and form a stronger bond. 

It’s also easy to sometimes feel that “slump” in the workplace, you can lose sight of where you are going and what you are good at. Team Park recently enjoyed some strengths coaching with Linda Lofstdottir where we each described where we feel our colleagues hold strengths in certain areas (both workwise and personally) These sessions not only lifted us but gave us all some positive takeaways which will remain with us, I know as well as myself, the team got a lot from it too and I hope it made them feel valued- because that’s important. 

So, what can you take away from this? What strengths and positive traits do you admire in those around you? Why not tell them…. You may not only make their day, but the power of that compliment will stay with them, you can guarantee.