Consumers will spend 3.4 zillion ba-jillion dollars on gifts this holiday season, but there are some amazing gifts that can be given without spending a dime. How about this one?
Compliment the Person, Not Just Their Performance.
Throughout my adult life I’ve complimented people, but when I think about it, most of those compliments have been about their performance. “Good job!” “Nicely done!” Or maybe a “Woo-hoo!” All of that is good, and it’s better than not acknowledging what they’ve done at all. I’ll call that Level 1. a good start, and it all fits into the encouragement universe.
So keep doing that, but add this: go the extra mile and compliment the person, not just their performance. I’ll call that Level 2.
A few years ago I started to notice the difference. The first is entirely performance based, but the second is a deeper level of appreciation, because it refers to the character of the person–who they are at their core. Let me give you an example. Let’s say I’m going through the drive-through to get a burger. (If my sister is reading this I mean “salad”.) I can settle in at Level 1 and say, “Thanks so much for the food! Have a great day. B-bye.” Or I can go deeper.
A Real Life Example
Which I actually did not long ago. We were having trouble with the microphone/speaker at the drive-through, but I was on my best behavior, so I was pretty patient. When I got my food I thanked the cashier and said, “Yeah, that can be frustrating for both of us when we can’t hear each other.” The young man said, “Yeah, and I’m just so nervous. This is my first day on the job.” I looked at him and said, “I am so impressed with you. I can tell that whoever hired you hired a winner. If I had a job opening I’d hire you right on the spot.”
He blossomed. We all do when we’re complimented at our core.
This Christmas don’t just compliment performance, compliment the person. Say, “You’re awesome!” “You’re amazing!” “You’re incredible!” “You have such an ability to put people at ease.” “I’ve always been impressed by what you do, but more than that I’m impressed by who you are.” “I wish I had 100 more employees like you.” “This team is so much richer because of you.” “I’m so blessed to have you in my life.”
This post originally appeared here.