Thursday, September 3, 2009

To Compliment or Not To Compliment...

An email came into my inbox today that caught my immediate attention. It was from an acquaintance that I have great respect for – Kevin Eickenberry at Remarkable Leadership. It seems that he is conducting a sort of ‘test’, if you will, on Twitter with regard to giving people authentic, genuine recognition more often.

I quickly thought back to two days prior of a discussion that occurred during a training session that my husband and I were conducting for a company in Ohio. During our training session, a participant shared that he feels that leading with a compliment while meeting a new person is a good idea. I in turn added that I have gotten into the habit of giving compliments to anyone I meet regardless if they are a stranger or friend. Many times when I am out ‘doing life’ and I see a girl with a cute haircut, a guy with attractive eye frames, or someone with an outfit that looks amazing on them…I will share my compliment with them. My theory is that the world is so caught up in their own day-to-day routine that we forget to notice others around us. If a compliment is deserved, it should be given (in my opinion). Someone on the other side of the room interjected because he was opposed to that idea. He felt that complimenting an individual immediately upon meeting, comes off as phony.

So here I am today, realizing that there are once again, two sides to each issue and wondering is there a happy middle? Although I understand that Kevin Eikenberry is speaking more of verbal recognition, giving a compliment seems to have the same uplifting power for a spirit.

What has been your experience? Possibly it is good for us to practice complimenting more often, but to be sure it is genuine and authentic. Maybe we can work a bit harder to craft a compliment in a genuine heartfelt manner. The middle may be the answer or maybe we can get a consensus from a twitter test. Either way, my belief is this: A compliment is about making the other person feel good, not about feeling good about ourselves.

I encourage you to go out and give a compliment today and see what happens. Together, we could possibly change the world.

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