Earlier this year I came across this powerful video from ‘The Science of Love” called The Power of Compliments. I’m not very good at accepting compliments, and I’m not alone. People can be worried that accepting a compliment makes them seem self-absorbed or they shrug them off, not believing that the compliment is a genuine one. In the 7 minute video couples are brought in and their self-esteem is checked. The individual with the lowest self-esteem is then read five compliments by their partner, to which they can only respond “Thank you”. They are then read the compliments a second time but this time around they have to explain how the compliment makes them feel and how what was said is significant to their relationship.
“When someone gives you a compliment, believe them”
Watching the video has made me mindful of the power of compliments. Now when I give a comment I make sure that they are meaningful, and not superficial. I also respond more favorably to compliments made to me, often adding what the comment meant to me.
This awesome TEDx presentation, also titled ‘The Power of Compliments” from Tracie Broom is well worth 19 minutes of your time. In it, Tracie, in a unique style that enthralled me, points out the value of meaningful, personal compliments. She suggests that a compliment has the power to increase the level of trust between the complimenter and the complimentee (I might have just made that word up).
Having discussed the power of compliments with @SchleiderJustin and @bartletthealth on Voxer I am now planning on replicating something similar with my students. They can write 5 compliments to say to their parents and report back on the ensuing discussion. And if they were courageous enough to film the conversation? Well that would be awesome.
I have declared Fridays as “Free Compliments Friday” and I pin up multiple copies of these posters:
Students can tear off a compliment and give it to someone else. Students have shared stories with me of having received one of these mid class, or pinning up a compliment up in their locker. Simple. Silly. But guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Why not download my document and pin it up in your school? My thanks go out Bob Knipe and Jorge Rodriguez for their help in adding the Spanish language version to the collection. If your school would benefit from these posters in a different language let me know and we’ll see if our PLN can help in creating one.
Finally, if you took the time to read this post – thank you. It means a lot to think that there are other professionals out there that value my voice.
This week’s questions:
Q1. Typically how do you react to compliments? Politely? Suspiciously? Warmly?
Q2. What was the nicest compliment you ever recieved? What was it about that compliment that made it meaningful?
Q3. Action of the day – compliment someone close to you at home and consider the value of meaningful compliments.
Q4. Action of the day – compliment 5 students today and tweet your thoughts.
Q5. Action of the day – compliment 5 members of your PLN today and tweet your thoughts.
*Originally posted in 2015 I have updated for freshness and added extra resources.