(This is Part 7 in the “Repeat After Me” series. See Part 6 here)
I picked this phrase up a long time ago, and it has laid dormant for a while. Recently I dusted it off and started using it again, and I hope you will, too.
“Can you handle a compliment right now?”
A while back I wrote about the difference between complimenting a person’s performance (“Good job!”) and complimenting the person (“You’re amazing.”) Here’s a way to take this to a new level. It adds double impact to any compliment, and it brings you greater influence in your leadership.
Here’s the idea. It’s cool to receive a compliment (either for performance or for who you are as a person), but it’s even cooler to be told you’re going to get a compliment…and then get it.
How to Compliment Better
- Fine: “Thank you for reading my blog and getting my newsletter and liking my post and all of that stuff, easily available at www.tompnebel.com. Thank you for passing this on to others who can benefit.”
- Better: “You are a cool cat, bordering on awesomeness. You champion me in a way that few people do, and it means the world to me. I’m better because of you.”
- Super-better: “Can you handle a compliment right now?” (Pause, then the inevitable curios acquiescence.) “Not many people in the world have others who fight for them the way that you do for me. I’m so grateful. I don’t know what I’d do or be without you.”
- Covertly self-serving, yet folksy and appearing humble: “That’s www.tompnebel.com.”
Consequences of Complimenting
Seriously, if you use this from a place of genuine consideration of others, and not as a manipulation, it brings such a win to everyone. I’m on a flight right now, and I noticed the guy across the aisle was so courteous and respectful of others, including the flight attendant. I finally tapped him on the shoulder and asked, “Can you handle a compliment right now?” He quickly agreed. When I said to him what I just said to you he sighed and said, “Thank you. That’s the best part of my day.”