Some things we do are simple and powerful. One of these is giving compliments.

At a social event, I recently sat behind a young father and his three-year-old son. The young boy climbed on his dad’s lap and cuddled in his arms. Watching how this father responded to the boy, I thought, “He’s a good father.” Then a second thought came to me: “Tell him.”

During a break in the event, the father turned to me. As our eyes connected, I said to him, “You are a very good father.” He responded with, “Thank you. I appreciate that.”

Later that day, I came upon an article by Kathleen Swartz McQuaig. In it she wrote, “As I steered my grocery cart toward the exit, I noticed an elderly employee plunging his mop and shining the floor before him. “Thanks for always keeping the floor clean,” Kathleen said.

The man stopped. Amazement punctuated his face. “You are most welcome.” Then, more directly, he added, “In all the decades that I’ve worked here, no one—including my boss—has ever thanked me for doing my job!”

“Well, for those who have never said so,” Kathleen smiled, “I truly appreciate what you do.”

Yes, compliments are simple, but they are only powerful if we express them. Oftentimes, we may see someone doing something that we appreciate or admire, but we don’t say anything.

Let’s paraphrase Dionne Warwick’s song, “What the world needs now are compliments more compliments,” and rain down compliments on people we meet this week. Let’s not just see things we admire and appreciate; let’s say it.

More to come next week on compliments.

From our Top 20 team: Willow, Tom, and Kevin.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training