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When to Give Your Colleague a Compliment

There is no when. Just do it. And more regularly.

This past week I received a compliment from a coworker and honestly, it was most unexpected. We don’t interact much and we don’t know each other too well. It was said into a microphone, in front of many people, and I blushed under my mask. I didn’t see it coming. I mustered a thank you but it made a lasting impression.

Why don’t we do this more often for each other?

Admittedly, I try to give praise as much as I can. I even wrote a blog about it. It’s one of those things that sounds easy, but it’s not so simple. Here’s why we humans find it challenging to give compliments:

· It’s a new behavior

· It takes vulnerability

· It takes effort

· It has to be meaningful or it will sound disingenuous

· The outcome is unknown

· We’re not used to receiving compliments

So I’ve been on a lifelong campaign to say thank you more often, even for the every-day-stuff-that-seems-unnoticeable for my friends, family, and colleagues. Before I meet with someone, I spend a few moments, or longer, reflecting on their contributions to their own work, our work, their life, and others’ lives. Then I try to find a way to mention it. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes not.

To the person who found a way to make it work this past week, thank you again. This is something I can definitely pay forward.

If this is important to you, try it out. Then do it more. Who can you compliment this week?

Until next week,



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