How to Give a Compliment

by Contributor

How to Give a Compliment. Compliments honor, elate and validate our efforts. Unlike flattery, a compliment is always socially acceptable if it is sincere and given in the appropriate context. Compliments can break the ice at work or at a party. They can diffuse stress, lift spirits or solidify a bond. Give compliments with ease to anyone.

Be sincere. Compliment only that which deserves it. If the speech was a flop, compliment the speaker instead for coming to address your group. It's easy to spot phoniness.

Make the compliment memorable by being specific. Instead of "you're a great cook," say "the pot roast was delicious." Instead of "you look nice, say "that's a handsome sport coat."

Ask a question as a compliment. "The color of that scarf is perfect for you. Where did you find it?" Asking a question drives the conversation.

Give a compliment as you would give a gift. Expect nothing in return.

Consider the setting. Compliments should be appropriate. Tell the bride that she looks beautiful. Congratulate her on losing 100 pounds some other time.

Acknowledge your relationship with the person you're complimenting. Comment on your boss' new hair color only if you two are long-time friends. A compliment is an opinion that may not be welcome.

Choose your words carefully. A compliment in good taste and the right words at the right time is always welcome.

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