How to Give a Powerful Compliment

When done well, a compliment is one of the most powerful ways to let someone know that you value and appreciate them. Yet, these seemingly positive interactions can be surprisingly tricky to navigate — no one wants to come across as a kiss-up. Here’s how to give a powerful compliment the next time you want to recognize someone for their work:

Be authentic. Ask yourself, “Why am I recognizing this person?” Don’t compliment someone because you feel you should; compliment them because you feel compelled to let them know how they impact you or others.

Be specific. Ask yourself, “What exactly did I experience or observe?” Give details and examples to give the recipient the context behind your admiration.

Focus on the process, not just the results. In other words, comment on how this colleague did what they did — not just what they produced.

Share the impact. Tell your colleague what their actions meant to you and the rest of the team.

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