Do you know how to receive a compliment?

Do you know how to receive a compliment?

Do you know how to receive a compliment and praise, or do you typically tend to dismiss, deflect or reduce what is being said?

I was having dinner with a long time client and friend for whom I have a great deal of admiration and respect. At some point in the evening, I expressed my heartfelt appreciation, gratitude and acknowledgement for the great person sitting in front of me including everything they have achieved in the previous months. My client listened quietly and then respectfully and graciously said something to the tune of: “Thank you so much for your kind words BUT I don’t deserve the praise and what I did wasn’t really that special.” I really love this person and I know him very well so I didn’t get offended at all. However, I did feel ripped off by his polite and well-intended rejection of my praise.

So, I decided to write a blog about this topic…

When YOU get acknowledged or thanked, do you fully let it in, or do you say things like: “You shouldn’t have”, “I don’t deserve this” or “ It wasn’t really all the great”? If you don’t fully let it in, you are letting yourself and the person giving you the compliment down.

It takes courage and generosity for someone to praise or give a compliment to another. Giving a compliment is in essence a personal gift. So, when the giver doesn’t experience their gift being accepted he also feels his generosity and courage have been ignored, dismissed, discarded and/or invalided. That is not a great feeling.

At the same time, by not fully accepting the compliment or praise, and fully letting it in, the receiver is missing the opportunity to feel empowered, uplifted and inspired by another. If someone tells you how beautiful, talented, powerful and/or special you are and you accepted their view – especially if their view is greater than your own – it will empower you.

So, why is it so hard for people to simply open their ears and heart to compliments and acknowledgements and let them in?

I have written about this in a previous blog “How great are you willing to be?” In essence, if people accept themselves as powerful, great, and magnificent they are admitting that they can create, achieve and have so much more, and that thought could be daunting. So, we tend to avoid anything that could lead to that feeling; like compliments and praise.

So, next time someone gives you a compliment or acknowledgement – try to just listen openly and generously, don’t say anything just let it in. And, at the end just say: Thank you!

Founder and President of Quantum Performance Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in generating total alignment and engagement in organizations.

His work has encompassed a broad range of industries including banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, entertainment, real estate, retail, startups and non-profits.

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