How To Be Full of Compliments

Well, here it is again!

March 1st is World Compliment Day – a simple reminder on the calendar to encourage you and I to be more mindful of giving people compliments.

Mark Twain made the act of giving compliments famous when he said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

Yet many of us need more than a calendar reminder or a quote from a writer and humorist to spur us on with compliment giving.

With so many great things going on and so many wonderful people to learn from, live and love, you would think we all would be full of compliments.

Seems this is not always the case though. So I am going to help you discover how you can be full of compliments to hand out as needed.

Compliments Come In All Shapes and Sizes

A compliment, simply put, is usually seen as a polite expression of praise or admiration.

“I really like your new hair cut. It allows us to see more of your face.”

Here are a variety of ways to find compliments in the making.

Be on the lookout. Take a tour of your work place and be consciously aware of people and what they are doing and how they look. With respect and awareness of personalities pay a few people compliments

Take time out to care. And compliments can also be a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard, such as when a senior leader pays a person a compliment by escorting him or her to the podium at an awards event.

Make time everyday. It doesn’t take much time to give a compliment. They are guaranteed to be less then one whole minute to do. Most compliments will be around 15 to 30 seconds to give. No excuses! Plan it in if you have to.

Consider the 5 W’s. What is said or done as a compliment, and where it is given can change the depth and breadth of the compliment’s effect.

And the context of the audience the compliment is made in front of changes the value of the compliment in the eyes of the intended recipient.

What Makes For a Good Compliment?

The simple compliments mean the most.

Be specific and not vague. All you have to do is give short and specific words of praise about a person’s work or the personal effort they give to tasks.

What do you admire most? Tell a person something that you admire about them whether its how they look, what they’re wearing, or the great customer service they just provided. Tell the person why you are complimenting them.

Pass compliments along. And don’t forget to pass along second-hand compliments – commendation you heard in conversation with people that the person being praised would not know about.

Let people know the positive things others are saying about them.

Share stories everywhere. Jeff Hansen, sports writer and newspaper editor, and recent inductee to the Alberta Hall of Fame said many athletes tell him how their parents clip his stories to put up on the fridge.

“That’s the ultimate compliment, really. When your story gets put on the fridge, that’s huge.”

Imagine if those athletes had never told Hansen what their parents did with his newspaper stories.

Take 5 Minutes for Compliments

You can be full of compliments when you stop for just 5 minutes to think about the treasure trove of compliments you already have available to you.

Spend those 5 minutes thinking about your friends, family members and work colleagues.

Think of a person’s name and all they mean to you. Use the following compliment prompts to generate some well-deserved compliments you need to give to that person.

Now repeat this exercise with another friend, family member or peer in mind.

  • 5 positive compliments about a person’s looks
  • 5 amazing things a person is brilliant at doing
  • 5 attributes you admire about a person
  • 5 well deserved commendations for work done
  • 5 qualities that make a person special to everyone
  • 5 things you would miss about them if they were gone
  • 5 ways they have blessed you in your life
  • 5 ways they lift other people up
  • 5 things they do that no one else seems to be able to do
  • 5 qualities that make you smile when you think about them

Now you have 50 compliments for you to give to the people around you.

Make this a special day for compliment giving.

Then repeat it tomorrow and the next day and every day thereafter.

Question: What compliment that you’ve received in your life still brings a smile to your face?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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