My friend Melissa is one of the most generous people I know. She blesses the lives of many in a very special way. When the moment presents itself, Melissa never misses an opportunity to lavish sincere praise.
Not only does she express her kindness to others by issuing compliments, Melissa does so in a significant way.
The other day I was the recipient of one of Melissa’s bighearted gifts. She attended a presentation I gave at a business meeting. Not only did she absorb and remember the message I delivered, the next morning when I visited my Facebook page Melissa tagged me in a post.
Other friends might have sent me a quick private message telling me they enjoyed my presentation. Not Melissa. She wrote a lengthy paragraph of “shout out” praise to be viewed on social media. Her act of kindness was extremely generous and an example of how Melissa goes out of her way to lift up people making them feel special.
Generosity is the virtue of giving freely and abundantly. Sometimes we give time, in other instances money or material goods. People like Melissa find innovative ways to make the world a brighter place with carefully chosen words.
Khalil Gibran is quoted as saying, “Generosity is giving more than you can and taking less than your need.”
Wise words to live by and yet, conversely, we can all identify acquaintances, perhaps even family members, who either refrain, or rarely think to offer up an “atta girl” or extend encouragement. Often in my coaching practice I encounter individuals who talk about never receiving a compliment from a parent, sibling or their boss.
Denying a deserving person a word of praise is the opposite of being generous. In fact, withholding admiration on a consistent basis can even be a form of emotional punishment.
Not everyone is as highly skilled as Melissa in the art of a compliment. If you are holding back praising others because it feels awkward, or you fear doing it wrong, just practice. Start small.
Try telling your boss you like her dress (if you do). Next try focusing on characteristics and skills. Perhaps your coworker wrote a procedure streamlining a task and making your work-life easier. Applaud that action, verbally, in writing or at a staff meeting in front of the boss.
There is only one rule when passing out compliments. Be sincere. Coupling sincerity with generosity makes your compliment memorable.
Make a point of issuing gracious compliments this week. Gift others with words of praise. Remember it costs you nothing to be kind, but may mean everything to someone else.