3 Steps to Deliver the Perfect Compliment


3 things you can compliment: Appearance, what they’ve done, or something they own.

“People who you compliment properly will view you as taller, thinner, and younger.” -Allan Pease

Situation and the Compliment:

“I really like your suit!”

What the compliment above does is allow the person you’re complimenting to respond with negative feedback.  Or, as Allan Pease called it, “Dumping a bucket of water on you”. We’ll now learn how to touch up that compliment above to create a compliment that’ll impress the person receiving it, and create a positive image of you in that person’s head.

1. Don’t compliment someone without saying why.
When you’re complimenting someone, like your boss for instance, you might compliment something they’re wearing or even how they look. If you send the compliment their way without explaining why you leave the moment open for the boss to “dump a bucket of water on you”. For example, if I say to my boss, “I really like your suit” the boss could reply,  “well yeah it’s ok, I don’t really like it that much and I might take it back”. Not quite the response you were hoping for.  When the person you’re complimenting responds this way, which more and more seem to do now-a-days, you don’t feel very satisfied. Let’s fix our compliment by adding the “why”.

“I really like your suit, because it’s powerful, and sleek.”

Our compliment is starting to take better form. The compliment now includes the why, or the reason we like the suit. Don’t say you like something without saying, “because”.

2. Use the person’s name in the beginning of the compliment.
Adding the person’s name in front of the compliment adds to its effect. If we add the person’s name to the compliment we can grab the person’s full attention. Adding the name also makes the compliment more sincere and direct.

“Hey Jim, I really like your suit, because it’s powerful and sleek.”

3. Make sure to end the compliment with an open-ended question.
Perhaps the most important step out of all the steps to a perfect compliment is step 3. Step three is to make sure the compliment will allow for a bit of discussion. First, let’s see how a compliment would turn out if it was finished with a close-ended question.

“Hey Jim, I really like your suit, because it’s powerful and sleek. Where did you buy it?”

Jim Replies: “Thanks, Men’s Warehouse”.

We still haven’t received the information or satisfaction we are looking for after delivering a compliment. This is where step 3 comes into play. If we end our compliment with an open-ended question we stir up a discussion and leave an impression in the person’s mind.  Here is the compliment touched up with step 3.

“Hey Jim, I really like your suit, because it’s powerful and sleek. What do you look for in a suit besides color?”

Jim replies, “Actually a huge reason for me is where the material is from, because my father was a  tailor and actually ran his own tailor company back in the 1980’s….”

The example above is how a simple compliment can turn into the perfect compliment just by adding 3 simple steps. You can see from the example that we’re pulling information out of the person we’re complimenting. We’re also developing a relationship and instilling in the person’s mind the viewpoints we would like them to have about us. If you practice implementing these steps in your life when you will start to see a better outcome each time. Practice these steps, and try them out. It doesn’t matter if you use them at work, school, or with people you first meet.

If you have any tips or suggestions with creating the perfect compliment feel free to comment below!

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