Posted by Todd Smith
From a very young age, all of us were taught how to accept a gift: say thank you, say something nice about the gift and, above all, don’t say you don’t like it (even if you don’t) because that will hurt the feelings of the giver.
This advice is as good today as it was when you were five years old. It still applies whenever you receive a gift—and that includes the gift of a compliment.
Graciously accepting a compliment in any setting is not only good manners, it’s a sign of someone who is confident and self-assured. It’s also a way to build rapport by acknowledging the compliment paid.
Today’s lesson on accepting compliments will help you see that this little thing can be a huge boost to your reputation.
A Social Skill Worth Doing Well
There are a number of theories as to why people have a hard time accepting compliments. Reasons range from wanting to appear modest or not feeling as if the compliment is deserved to doubting the sincerity of the person giving the compliment.
What you may not realize, however, is that rejecting, deflecting, or not properly acknowledging a compliment creates a negative impression for three specific reasons.
1. Discounts the intentions of the person giving the compliment
2. Sends the message that you think the giver’s opinion is flawed
3. Suggests that you don’t value your own abilities or talents
Remember that everybody is busy. We all have our own concerns to look after, so when someone takes notice of something we’ve done well and makes an effort to tell us, we owe it to them to acknowledge their thoughtfulness.
Do You Recognize a Compliment When You Hear One?
Defined as an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration, compliments should be pretty easy to recognize, but can be tough to spot when we’re focused on ourselves. Here are two examples:
“Have you lost weight, Mary? You look terrific!”
Mary is sending a message that she’s self conscious about her weight and/or she doesn’t deserve credit for her efforts.
“I’m really happy with the way you handled yourself on that call, Bill.”
Bill is sending a message that he doesn’t think he’s good enough and that he is not able to see the potential benefit that may come from his contribution.
Responding to a Compliment
These two examples may seem obvious, but remember that compliments come in many forms. Whatever the situation, there is a proper way to acknowledge praise, commendation, or admiration.
Here’s how it might sound if Mary and Bill put this advice into practice:
Quite a difference, wouldn’t you say? My challenge for you today is three-fold:
1. Listen for compliments given to others as you go about your business over the next week. How many times do you hear people rejecting or ignoring a compliment they receive?
2. Give more compliments than you normally would. Notice the responses people give.
3. Finally, put today’s advice into practice the very next time you receive a compliment.
Acknowledging a compliment paid is a simple, yet very effective way to make a positive impression and build a favorable reputation.
Appreciation, Building Rapport, Confidence, Encouragement, Personal Brand, Recognition, Things you were never taught
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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