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When did you last make someone feel 10ft tall?

Is paying someone a compliment a natural part of your leadership skillset?

For a long time I found that paying people a compliment was an uncomfortable thing to do. It just didn’t feel natural so I didn’t do it and as a leader I probably suffered for it. It took one of my previous managers to show me the error of my ways and encourage me to praise people for a task well done.

For all of my awkwardness, I was missing out on the fact that a simple compliment can help motivate people in a way few other things can. It will help engage with people and more than likely create an environment where everyone feels it’s OK to give others recognition too.

So if this is where you are too, here are my top tips for paying someone a compliment…

  1. Make it honest. Compliments are different to flattery. Giving someone false praise is easily detected and can be mistaken for manipulation, so be sincere.
  2. Make it specific. For someone to understand why they are being praised and then continue to act in the same way, they need to understand what they have done to earn the praise. So don’t be vague, it will only confuse the message.
  3. Make it natural. Praise shouldn’t be forced or contrived as it won’t come across as genuine. As with so many things, delivering the compliment with a smile will go a long way to making it feel natural.
  4. Make it appropriate. Not everybody likes being called out to the front of the office and praised in front of their peers – it might make them feel embarrassed and actually undo all the good intent of making the compliment. Try to understand the recipient and decide whether they would prefer a quiet chat or a full public commendation.

So, if you want to make someone feel 10ft tall today and higher than a kite, ignore your discomfort and pay them a compliment.

This post is part of my 60 day blog challenge.

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