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How compliments make us all grow -if you let them!

A compliment…right?

Your boss: “Well done with your presentation, it clearly shows which direction we should now follow”.

You: “Nah, thanks, but ehh.. I didn’t prepare well enough so my slides are very cluncky, and I’m not sure if the message actually came across…”

Your boss: “I don’t think anybody noticed the clunkyness, I certainly didn’t. And I saw that everybody was paying avid attention.”

You: “Probably because you were in the room, boss, haha.”


How hard can it be?

Recognize this conversation? I’m sure you had quite a few them. I know I certainly did! Have you noticed that we are all very skilled at NOT excepting compliments? And not just at work. In everyday life we seem to even be worse at it: “Great dress you’re wearing!” – “What, this cheap thing?” Why is this? But more importantly: What is the impact of this?


Double-edged knife:

Not accepting a compliment works as a double-edged knife: not only do you shorten yourself of feeling good about yourself and your skills, you also basically tell the giver of compliments that that person has it all wrong. So guess what, you’re both walking away not feeling particularly good about yourself. 


But it is time to break that cycle!

We should allow ourselves to gracefully accept compliments! A good friend of mine pointed this out a long time ago: accepting a compliment equals giving one! And consequently, it has now become one of my life motto’s I live by. I give as easy as I receive the compliments. Cause not only you’ll feel good on the receiving end -if you accept it gracefully-, you’ll feel equally good on the giving end. Try it for your self!

“Thank you for noticing, it is good to hear some feedback”, “I’m so glad that my presentation had such a good impact on everybody (including you)”. “Thank you, I love the colour of this dress, it is one of my favourites, yours too?”

You’ll love it!

Cheers,          Els

PS       Take home message => By really giving someone the chance to emphasise your good actions and characteristics, you’re simultaneously paying back a huge compliment to that person: win-win at the workplace (as well as in your private life)!

Elisabeth Bosma