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 The Art Of Paying Compliments

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Elite Contibutor
Elite Contibutor

Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 57
Registration date : 2007-07-26

The Art Of Paying Compliments Empty
PostSubject: The Art Of Paying Compliments   The Art Of Paying Compliments Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 2:28 pm

Flattery will get you nowhere, they say. Well, "they" say a lot of things. And too many times, "they" are sorely mistaken.
Paying compliments has never been more strategically important than it
is today. Not because people expect them, but precisely because they
don't. While everyone is wrapped up in their own performance, people
hardly take the time to recognize the work of others.
That's where you come in. Whether you're dealing with bosses,
subordinates or peers, a well-placed compliment will make you valuable,
noteworthy and better suited for leadership. Read on and discover why.

why compliments work

Being the boss always sounds great, but it's largely a thankless task. You bust your ass
and get hardly a pat in recognition. Bosses are painfully
self-conscious about their leadership skills, their motivational powers
and their ability to delegate effectively. They crave positive
feedback, though they hardly get it. And, if they want to maintain
respect, they can't show that they want it.
And while your peers may get the occasional, "good job," from the boss,
encouragement and motivation is seen as part of their job. Who really
better to stroke a co-worker's ego than one of their peers who, beyond
being their equal, is in many ways a competitor?
When you recognize people's skills and achievements, it makes you seem
more selfless. Your attention to detail is appreciated. And if you
believe what some scientific studies have to say on the subject, people
who pay others compliments are seen as smarter.
And since you're such an honest, selfless guy, your co-workers may
spare you from vicious office politicking. So all your bases are

flattery 101

The cardinal rule of flattery is that it should be insightful, specific
and empathetic. That means no generic brown-nosing. It means actually
noticing something that the other guy may be unaware of. Take these
steps to distinguish your praise from bland lip service.

Give specific compliments
what makes people nervous, and focus on paying compliments that will
comfort them regarding that. For a business leader, it may be
addressing and inspiring a crowd of subordinates. For a secretary, it
may be her knowledge of office protocol. For a writer, it's likely his
way with words. You need to pay attention to where a person's lack of
confidence lies. Then compliment them accordingly, in the most natural
way possible.
Forget about just saying, "good job, Steve." That's generic and clich.
If, for example, Steve raised an unpopular but important topic at a
meeting, jump on that instead. "Hey Steve, you brought up some
important points in that meeting. I think people needed to hear that."
Such a compliment, tailored to assuage his self-doubts, is insightful,
specific and empathetic.
Here's another example. A co-worker submits a report that the entire
office had to read. That's a lot of pressure, right? Put his mind at
ease: "John, you identified an important weakness in our product that
never occurred to me. That was very sharp."

Time your praise

Compliments are all about timing. They are usually most effective
immediately after someone does something they deserve praise for. It's
right after the fact that most people are nervous and itching to hear
that they did well. Let time pass and they will calm down, or convince
themselves that they did well and don't need anyone else's approval.
But timing also involves calibrating someone's mood. If you see a
co-worker in a slump, a well-placed compliment might motivate him and
remind him that what he does is significant.
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Elite Contibutor
Elite Contibutor

Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 57
Registration date : 2007-07-26

The Art Of Paying Compliments Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Art Of Paying Compliments   The Art Of Paying Compliments Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 2:29 pm

Keep your flattery professional

You should limit your compliments to work-related achievements, since
that is people's main function in the office. Complimenting someone on
a good joke they sent around by e-mail doesn't count.
However, don't be afraid to touch on personal matters. People today pay
close attention to their appearance, since image is increasingly
important. Yet these kinds of compliments must be curt and sporadic.
You don't want to gush excessively over a guy's haircut.
You also need to target compliments towards genders; to suit male and
female vanities. For instance, you may want to compliment a man on his
suit, his car or his athletic abilities, if you watched him play a
sport. For women, remember that many still feel they need to
overachieve in male-dominated workplaces. Tell a female co-worker she
is a valuable member of the team. For example, "Sarah, you really do a
good job crunching those numbers. I'm sure it helps everyone. We're
lucky to have you here."
If complimenting a woman on her appearance, keep it very, very subtle
and professionally distant. You can mention she's wearing a nice dress,
but never mention body parts, weight or skin conditions, for obvious reasons.

compliment your boss covertly

Complimenting superiors demands more tact, since flattery can easily be perceived as abject ass kissing.

Do it casually

When complimenting your boss, it's better to do it as an aside rather
than directly. While he's discussing a company matter to you, slip it
in. "By the way, thanks for that e-mail about company policy. It really
helped me out."

Praise him to others

You can also use office gossip
to your advantage. Speak highly of your boss to others in the office.
Tell them how pleasant it is to work under him (if it's true, of
course, lest you become a sarcastic git). The reliable grapevine will
transmit your words to the chief in no time. Trust me, he'll get it.

Compliment what he likes

For the truly tactical, a good way to compliment your boss is to learn about his interests
and engage him in conversation about it. Be it the new sports car he's
driving or his passion for golf, he'll appreciate the attention. Few
people expect others to enjoy their own tastes. Doing so can be very
time your praise

For some people, like bosses, compliments are better doled out in
private, when there are no potential jealous tongue lashers in earshot.
They may see your compliments as an attempt at kissing up and will
tarnish your reputation accordingly. And the boss won't worry about
others seeing him bask in his ego-stroking elation.
As for your peers, however, you are best doing it out in the open. It's
nice to be recognized for one's feats, but it's much nicer when
everyone sees you being recognized, isn't it?
make compliments valuable

Be scarce with flattery

Why is platinum so expensive? Because there's such a scarce amount of
it out there. But try selling a handful of sand to merchant in the
Sahara. Likewise, your compliments should remain rare if they are to
have any effect. Overdo it and people will not only come to expect your
flattery, but they'll be unaffected by it.

Be honest with flattery

Compliments are also more valuable if they're honest.
How do you ensure others will construe them as such? You have to
develop a reputation for tactful honesty. That means that you deliver
the bad news as well as the good. When you're a trusted source of
information, your compliments go leagues further.

Personally deliver flattery

Make sure your targets get the compliment by delivering them yourself.
E-mail and voice messages are prone to spontaneous deletion.
Furthermore, doing things in person is always appreciated.

compliments: your ace in the hole

Compliments are often reviled in corporate culture because most people
don't know how to deliver them well. When given only as attempts to
please others or to qualify oneself, compliments can sound pathetic.
Delivered wisely and subtly, possessing the three cardinal
characteristics (insightful, specific and empathetic), compliments can
do wonders, from setting you up for a raise to protecting you when it's
downsize time.
Remember; bosses are people too. They want affirmation as much as the
next guy. If you play your cards right, they may even become dependent
on your kind words -- and on you.




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