The New Habit: Giving Compliments

"I can live for two months on a good compliment"
-Mark Twain

How is it that most people rarely give a good, warm, heartful compliment? How often do you get positive feedback on a well-done work?

Sadly, I have witnessed quite a lot of situations where everyday well-done work and even great accomplishments happen and no one gives a word for it, and yet the moment someone makes the smallest mistake or faux pass everyone starts pointing fingers and talking.

As with any other kind of giving, a compliment gives a positive boost for both the giver and the receiver. We definitely need more good in our lives, so let’s start by giving more compliments when they are due.

Eugenio Garza Sada, one of the most important Mexican entrepreneurs, wrote a group of principles and personal concepts for his company and made sure all of his workers knew it and put it to practice. You can check it out in Spanish here.

Garza Sada made a special remark on appreciating his employee’s good work and giving full credit for it. Taking that credit as your own, according to him, would prevent you from behaving like a leader and make your company lose its faith on you.

An honest compliment works wonders especially on people having a hard time or just initiating on something. Novices need to feel they’re on the right track, while experts usually know they are good and prefer concentrating on improving its deficiencies. While corrective feedback is also much needed, never assume people already know that they are doing something right.

Words don’t need to be perfect, just put aside any shyness or self-absorption you may have and just drop an honest line. Never underestimate the power of an encouraging word.

Here is one of my favorite poems; quite simple, yet very deep.

Do it now
by Berton Braley

If with pleasure you are viewing
any work a man is doing,
If you like him or you love him,
tell him now;
Don’t withhold your approbation
till the parson makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow;
No matter how you shout it
he won’t really care about it;
He won’t know how many teardrops you have shed;
If you think some praise is due him
now’s the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.

More than fame and more than money
is the comment kind and sunny
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend.
For it gives to life a savor,
and it makes you stronger, braver,
And it gives you heart and spirit to the end;
If he earns your praise – bestow it,
if you like him let him know it,
Let the words of true encouragement be said;
Do not wait till life is over
and he’s underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.

  1. memoguerrero posted this