Friday, February 25, 2011

You can do it

I learned something this week.  A word of acclamation or praise can really brighten a persons day.  In much the same way parents are supposed to give a word of encouragement to their kids, I learned this week adults are just as accepting of a pat on the back.  Maybe this thought has something with the award below?  

Quick side bar: I was rambling about something the other day and apparently had gotten to a point of annoyance...CP said "I would pat you on your back but your hand is the in the way.CP really knows how to humble a person.

Most of us with mothers remember what it was like to be told 'you did a good job cleaning your room'.  Or how proud it made your mom when you made an A+ on your math test.  Sure it seems trivial now.  Sure some of us even think compliments are unnecessary.  "I am not a child any more I don't need to hear that crap."  But I would be willing to bet (theoretically), that same person if they thought about it for a half a second could quickly recall the last time they were told...

  • "You are a quality employee and for that we would like you accept this Customer of the Year award and a $500 check to show our appreciation."
  • "Just want you to know how much your friendship means to me."
  • "I have been watching you over the last few months and you have done a great job with your diet.  You have shown exceptional discipline.  I am proud of you. You should be proud of yourself."
  • "Thanks for being here for me during this time.  It means a lot to me."

...and how quickly they could recall the name, person, and place when they heard the words.

We encourage our kids with words of praise and we see how much it brightens their day.  When they bring a picture to you they have created, drawn, or colored.  What happens when you take a minute to say "Wow you did this by yourself?  This is great.  You are very artistic."  Remember the response...usually a big smile breaks out across their face.  And more times than not, they run and draw another picture.  It makes them feel better about themselves.  It gives them a sense of acceptance.  Why stop at our kids? 

I challenge you to give this a whirl.  You can do it.  Not to abuse it mind you, by all means mind your manners.  But try it on your friends, co-workers, even your parents.  That's right...turn it on your parents.  Freak them out with a word of encouragement or a compliment.  There have been rare reports of parents accepting this verbal gesture graciously.  However, most likely they will look at you like you just grew another head on your shoulders because nothing like that has ever come out of your mouth toward them like that before...just sayin' prepared for 'the look'.  

Try it on your spouse.  OK your right.  I took you to the advanced course a little to fast.  Deep breath; that's it.  We are back to the beginner course.  You may want to take baby steps with this complimenting your spouse thing.  Start with your friends.  Move to your parents.  One step at a time.  Didn't mean to frighten you.  Deep breath; that's it.  Your color is back...good. 

But when you least expect it, a few days or weeks down the road, you may hear them telling somebody about how much it meant to them.  Do not be surprised if you are the one they are telling. 


SherilinR said...

i've been teaching this very thing to my daughter for a few months now. because compliments are like gifts that we can give for free. to anyone! i even compliment strangers if i can think of a non-creepy, genuine way to do it because i'd rather be a bright spot in their day than a complainer or just someone who passes them by.
good post!

Clipped Wings said...

I actually started doing this with my spouse around 4 yrs ago, whether I believed the compliment or not, and it changed everything in my marriage for the better. It also changed me after a while where I liked my spouse a lot better. Compliments do wonders for the other person, and they create positive reinforcement in the one giving them if they give them enough times. Great post!

bettyl said...

Somehow, it's been a large part of my world to acknowledge good works and it's rewards--seeing someone brighten up instantly or watching 'the lightbulb' moment--are amazing.

Great post.

EmptyNester said...

Some friends and I had the discussion, years ago, about how women (I'm sure men too, but we were discussing women) don't realize how much influence we have with our words. How just a kind word to a disgruntled cashier has the potential to turn their day around, a simple 'hello' to a passing stranger, etc. I've never forgotten that and I try to do that everywhere I go. Sometimes my mood will get the best of me but I do try to overcome even that! And you're right- it makes a total difference!

Kara said...

Kipp, you are a wellspring of sound advice this week! Thanks for the words of wisdom you left on my blog - it helped.

roughneckturtle/Jeff C. said...

Excellent post. A kind word and a smile will go a lot farther than shouting and a sword.

Kipp said...

Sherilin - you are a good mother. It shows in the stories you right about your daughter. Keep up the good work.

Clipped - I am learning to compliment my spouse more often. I agree it is helping both me and her. Your wisdom is valuable.

Bettyl - you are nothing but an encourager... =) You are very kind.

EmptyNester - the way you talk about your have been applying this in their lives. Get Hubs to read this and see what happens...for you. =) just kidding

Kara - sometimes wisdom appears out of failure. I have plenty of experience in the latter area but certainly do not mind sharing the hindsight.

Jeff - nicely put. You know what I am talking about.

Kipp said...

"right" should have been "write" sometimes my hands do not listen to my brain.

Another lesson not try to perform necessary motor skills prior to your first morning cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

What a great article! When we feel appreciated and honored, it energizes us to perform better in all areas of our life. Thank you for reminding us of this simple formular to encourage others and help them become who they were created to be.

Mary B.

Anonymous said...

A great post Kipp! Your second to the last paragraph had me rolling with laughter. I loved that!!! Keep 'em coming.

Kipp said...

Mary B - you sound very wise yourself.

PAMO - =) give it a whirl and let me know how it turns out.