Kind words echo; they are little gifts. Compliments are one way to give uplifting little gifts to others in your day.
A friend of mine called Pattee is a walking bottle of appreciation. Wherever she goes she’s dripping drops of gratitude, appreciation, and mostly compliments on whomever she encounters. I stand back in awe. It’s a little different to be honest. When I first met her, I noticed that she had what seemed to be irresistible urges to compliment everyone on everything. She simply couldn’t stop herself. At Starbucks for example, she regularly compliments the baristas for their coffee making abilities, their good nature, their smile, or whatever strikes her at the moment. Pattee is different. She’s a little gift.
I realize now that the reason this seemed odd to me is because as a society we’ve moved away from connection. Communication is so truncated these days and communication is increasingly done via gadget and app. So even as we walk through our days, we are often not interacting much with the people we see, let alone paying them a compliment. A few cursory words at best and we are off to the next thing. So, to have someone stop, look at you, and pay you a compliment is like a shock. It’s startling because it is so seldom done.
Pattee has caused me to reflect even more on my own interactions. I’m not nearly as outgoing as she. So, I don’t naturally compliment people like she does. But maybe I should. It will take some effort. That’s my work. I think a lot of people are just like me.
There are ways to encourage such kinds of communication in an office environment, which will uplift the team. At a recent conscious leadership event Megan Driscoll, Founder and CEO of a young company called PharmaLogics, shared a promotional video about her company. Employees discussed their favorite aspects about the culture. Much of the team are Millennials and Ms. Driscoll has created an environment that they love, and so they thrive and in turn so is the company. On the video one employee discussed the company’s gratitude practice. The employee shared that the team members have gratitude journals that they write in each day. They also have a gratitude board, where people post notes of appreciation complimenting one another. The board is cleared daily as I recall and new notes are posted each day. What an enlightened way to invite the team to connect in a meaningful way by sharing these little gifts of appreciation.
Expressions of gratitude and appreciation including paying compliments help foster connection with other people. It is one way to help lift people up and make them feel good. When people feel good they feel more content, satisfied, secure, and even happier. An uplifting environment is a thriving environment. Besides, when you pay it forward in this way, it just might begin to come back to you.
So, maybe we should all practice complimenting co-workers, loved ones, friends, and strangers more often in our own lives.
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Tarra Mitchell is incorporating her distinctive background in business and yoga to contribute to the great conversation around leadership and consciousness. Her upcoming book, The Yoga of Leadership, shows how personal wellbeing is connected to success to inspire and empower leaders to lead healthier, happier lives, and better connect with and engage their teams.
Watch Tarra’s author video below to learn more about The Yoga of Leadership.