Compliments Sizzle!  

by Pauline Shirley, Leaders On Fire

Compliments are powerful!

Compliments energize!

Compliments instill confidence.

They sizzle!

They build self-esteem in the recipient.
Compliments develop loyalty to the deliverer. And if that is not enough, compliments even make the deliverer feel good. Invest time in firing up your compliment power. Then sit back and observe the positive results.

For most people it is surprisingly difficult to compliment someone. For even more people it is more difficult to be on the receiving end.

Here are some rules of thumb leading to the healthy habit of giving compliments.

• Always be on the lookout for opportunities to give compliments.
• Deliver compliments with sincerity.
• Smile when you compliment.
• And, never, ever let the golden opportunity to compliment someone pass you by.

Most people mentally compliment more often than you do verbally. You pass by a co-worker and think to yourself, “That sure is a sharp tie Bob has on today.” But you only think it. You say nothing.

A report is placed on your desk. Minutes later, you look at it and are impressed. You think, “Barbara surpassed my expectations on this one!” Once again, compliment in thought only. The brief seconds it would take you to verbalize those thoughts are moments in time well invested in the people around you.

Plan to invest lavishly and often with brief moments of praise. In this case put your words where your thoughts are!

The next time you see Bob, stop a moment and say, “That is really a nice tie, Bob.” That’s all it takes. Pay your compliment and go on.

When you look at that outstanding report Barbara has put together, pick up the phone, call Barbara and say, “Barbara, this report is excellent. Thank you for surpassing my expectations!” It is as simple as that. As a result, everyone feels good.

If you are on the receiving end of a compliment, simply smile appreciatively and respond, “Thank you.” No gushing, no blushing, no shushing is necessary. Although blushing, gushing and shushing are common reactions, be gracious in your reaction and response.

In interpersonal communication skills training, in all circumstances, the reaction of the trainees to giving and receiving compliments is consistent. They find it challenging to give compliments, difficult to receive them, but are delighted in the practice of doing both. That particular part of the training is always the most appreciated, most enjoyed, most talked about, and the most enlightening!

Be enlightened! Fire up your compliment power. Invest lavishly! Empower others with the sizzle of compliments! You are guaranteed a substantial return on your investment.

Compliment Sizzle© MMV by Pauline Shirley

“This article contains 430 words, and was written by Pauline Shirley, who presents, speaks and trains from rich leadership experiences. She is president of Leaders On Fire of richardson, Texas, whose mission is to prepare emerging leaders for today, tomorrow and the future. Ms. Shirley may be reached at 972-644-6430 or at”

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