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6 Tricks To Giving A Good Compliment

6 Tricks To Giving A Good Compliment

Compliments come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from commending coworkers on their hard work, to telling your significant other how good that shirt looks on him or her. It’s the little things like sincere compliments that can change how people view and relate to you, and just one good compliment can make someone’s entire day better.

Compliments, no matter how small or how grand, can make anyone feel good. It doesn’t matter who the person is or what your relationship is, because no one is exempt from the feel-goods that come with good compliments. Next time you want to dole out some acclaim, keep these six tips in mind.

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1. Tailor your compliment.

Compliments are designed to make people feel good about themselves, so make sure the compliment is all about the specific person you’re speaking to. Mass-produced compliments lose their meaning pretty quickly because the more personal the accolade, the better. People feel much more appreciated when you say exactly why you think that person deserves some praise.

2. Include examples.

If you just say, “Good job,” that’s all fine and well, but it’s not nearly the compliment it could be. Back your compliment up with examples of why you think that person did do a good job. Including examples makes your compliment seem more sincere, and is therefore much more effective and convincing. In a work situation, it might also help the person realize what he or she did, and how to better accomplish that task in the future. While work relationships are certainly different from others, it’s still important to let coworkers know that they’re appreciated.

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3. Don’t put it off.

Too many people wait until what they think is the perfect moment for a good compliment. Don’t be one of those people! What you have in your head as a perfect moment may never happen, and unless you’re willing to single-handedly create that moment yourself, don’t delay the compliment. If you feel that a compliment is appropriate, the best time is now. Sincerity has a lot to do with timing, and if you feel it, you should say it.

4. Include the other person.

Compliments don’t have to be a one-way street. If you think someone did something particularly well and compliment him or her on it, include that person and make it a conversation. Try, “How do you think it went?” The last thing you want is to seem patronizing or condescending, and including the other party can help offset that and make them feel even more appreciated.

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5. Make it 100% compliment.

Don’t ever tell someone that something they’ve done is great…because what he or she was doing beforehand wasn’t so great. Compliments are meant to make people feel good, and that’s it. Don’t bring other things into it, because comparing the now and the then can just make someone feel bad about themselves. Do not negate a good compliment by making it back-handed or rude. That accomplishes the exact opposite of what a compliment should do for a person.

6. Be selfless.

Never compliment someone because you want a compliment back. Not only is this a very selfish thing to do, but it sucks all of the sincerity right out of the compliment. If you think someone’s hair looks nice, say so — but don’t do it just because you’re having a bad hair day and want some validation for your own look. Many people might return a compliment with another, but you shouldn’t go into the interaction expecting or even hoping for that. You’re doing this because you think someone else should be praised, not you.  

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Featured photo credit: Daniel Lobo via photopin.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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