Francis Lansink

Francis Lansink

Compliments. Do you often give them?

foto vierkant

Do you remember the last time someone gave you a genuine compliment? Recently or has it been a while? Probably this compliment made quite an impression on you and made you feel appreciated, right?  

March 1st is Compliments Day! 

This day is all about giving genuine compliments.  

Hans Poortvliet created the National Compliments Day in 2003 – just for fun. Meanwhile, Compliments Day is a global phenomenon. 

Giving a compliment

I’m Dutch and in general our nation is not so comfortable in giving compliments. We often have to overcome several barriers before we feel comfortable doing so. If we have been assisted above expectations, we rather tell a friend or family member than telling the person herself/himself. Such a missed opportunity! Although we’re doing better by day.  

People like to be appreciated and are often motivated by it. Receiving compliments increases social interactions as well as overall happiness. And guess what: the same benefits count for the one who is giving compliments. Making someone else happy, contributes to your own happiness.   

A few tips for giving a compliment:

Tip 1: Make sure your compliment is always genuine. It should come from your heart. Empty compliments are meaningless and create distrust. 

Tip 2: Make it personal! Express your feelings by telling the person the way you’ve been touched. Mention what you appreciate about the person, such as “Thank you for helping me so much” or “Your positivity makes me stronger” or “You have pleasantly surprised me” or “Thank you for listening” or “You look good today” or “You’re shining”. 

Tip 3: Regularly give compliments to friends, family, colleagues, neighbors and certainly also to strangers, such as a taxi driver, a parcel deliverer, a receptionist. Expressing appreciation to someone, that’s what people love. It automatically gives you credits. As far as your neighbors are concerned, you are building a safer neighborhood. And if you unexpectedly need a helping hand, they will most probably be there for you to assist.       

Tip 4: Write your compliment on a card or any piece of paper. It always adds a personal touch. Besides, it is a nice and easier alternative for many people than telling someone face to face.  

I had compliment cards designed (see photo) in a business card format. Perfect fit in your bag or phone case. These compliment cards are meant for you to give away to anyone who made you feel good. It can be the cashier at your local grocery store, your hairdresser, the cleaner, your neighbor or, for example, a fellow passenger on the train. Just anyone!

Receiving a compliment

Earlier on, I said that the Dutch are not so strong at giving compliments. However, receiving compliments is even more uncomfortable for the Dutch… and many other nations. We often don’t welcome the compliment and rather ignore it or even deny it.  

If we are told that we are wearing such a fantastic shirt, we prefer to deny the compliment with the words “Oh, that’s very old” or “Oh, I bought that at the [beep] and was only €20,00”. During my seven years in Abu Dhabi, I worked with more than 24 different nationalities years ago. It was obvious to me that Lebanese are really stars at receiving compliments. They always welcome compliments by saying “Thank you”. We should all do that!

Receiving a compliment benefits you personally, but it also benefits the company you work for. Studies have shown that people who receive compliments on their work are much more likely to improve their performance than those who are not complimented. Your motivation increases, your productivity rises, and it stimulates social interactions, which positively influences your EQ – Emotional Intelligence.   

A few tips for receiving a compliment:

Tip 1: Just say “Thank you, that is nice to hear”. If you welcome your compliment, you’ll get more of these. If you do not welcome a compliment, people are likely to give you less or no compliments in the future. Why? Because they don’t receive that lovely feeling if you don’t welcome a compliment.

Tip 2: Experience how it affects your feelings while receiving a compliment and decide to give compliments more often yourself. 

Tip 3: Never launch a marketing promotion to stimulate receiving compliments. Compliments are not for sale. Never.

Recently, I noticed the following sentence on the website of a marketing agency: “Start a promotion by giving away goodie bags in return for a compliment (positive review) towards your company”. Several companies admire this idea. Or admired. Hopefully, they realized that this damages reputation and in the long run probably causes a loss of turnover. Work towards a flourishing corporate culture. Request a hospitality check of your organization right here, right now, and together we analyze the space for development. It’s not complicated. Just do it.  

Let’s give some more compliments!

Giving a compliment is completely free of charge and it generates so much positivity.  Everyone in the world has access to giving compliments. Anytime, anywhere.

Being assisted exceptionally and memorably might not happen every day. But when it happens, give a compliment verbally or a compliment card or note. 

Do you also want to order compliment cards and have them handed out by your employees? Please contact us.    

Yet another opportunity to brighten up the world a little more. And not just on March 1st.  

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