How to Make Your Compliments More Effective

Compliments can help you attain things which you wouldn’t be able to without voicing them. They are an important tool in everyday conversation, and in achieving desired reactions from those who you interact with.

You may have gone on a date and complimented your counterpart in an effort to set the mood right. You may have also complimented your potential manager on their choice of footwear during an interview in hopes of setting a good impression.

Compliments are nothing to be shy about or hold back if they come from genuine thought. Dale Carnegie described the differences between compliments and flattery in How to Win Friends and Influence People very well. Flattery is seen from a mile away and sets you back to a position worse than the one prior to voicing your flattering words. 

Compliments are a tool to increase your social worth among the people around you. Well-placed and well-timed compliments can be genuine as well as effective in getting people to like you. When deciding how to voice the compliments that you want to say, you should think about what the most effective ways of delivering those compliments are. The setting and context matters when delivering compliments, however, below are two tips which can increase the effectiveness of your compliments notwithstanding the setting which you’re in. 


Be the Darling With the Details


This is a simple rule which is forgotten by many in the heat of the moment when complimenting other people. The more general your compliments are, the less effective and memorable they will be. People spend a lot of time thinking about how they lead their lives. We think about everything that we do in great detail before executing. You probably gave some thought about the outfit you chose to wear today as well as the way you presented yourself at that meeting at work. 

When complimenting others, tap into the details which race through their minds. If you are impressed with an item of clothing your coworker decided to wear, say something about their exquisite tastes in clothing which taps into the details that entered their mind when they decided to wear it. Do not just say, “what a nice handbag, Julie,” but rather, “your handbag matches your shoes, you’ve got a good eye for fashion Julie!”

The compliment which contains more details tells your audience that you have put in some thought into what you’re complimenting. It will be more memorable on their part, and they are likely to respond in favorable ways to your words. 


Couple Compliments With Lessons Learned


People have an innate desire to teach others about what they’re good at. If you have been playing soccer since you were a kid, you are likely to give an absolute amateur some tips on how to dribble better and kick more accurately. Teaching others will reinforce your feelings of mastery over a craft, and you will be fond of people who accept that fact and listen to you while you teach. It shows that they respect your skills in a specific craft and acknowledge your experience. 

Take this knowledge and reverse it when giving somebody a compliment. Mention things you learn from those who you’re complimenting. When complimenting someone on their presentation at work, make sure to mention what lessons you will take with you from their presentation. Simply complimenting somebody is less memorable than expressing what you learned from them. People who learn from us in what we do make us feel good, and we tend to remember the people who acknowledged our skills to the level of learning from them. 

Expressing the lessons you learned from somebody which you compliment not only gives them a sense of mastery but also taps into the details mentioned above. It shows them that they are doing something right at a level deeper than a mere, “good job!” You will set yourself apart in the minds of those who you learn your lessons from by telling them about it. You will in turn make them somewhat responsible in pleasing you going forward, as we hate to disappoint our pupils. 

Book Recommendation: 

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age

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