I mentioned in an earlier post on having impact that as we go through our day, there are simple things we can do to be intentional in our relationships with others. I wanted to elaborate on that a little more by writing a five-part series dedicated to discussing some practical ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.

It doesn’t cost you anything to give a compliment.

The times when we’ve been praised for a job well done are easy to remember. They’re the moments we’re proud of and we feel good about. They give us confidence for the days when we don’t hear that “thank you” for our hard work.

Unfortunately, most of us probably don’t hear “thank you” very often.

In a case study done by COLLOQUY, a loyalty marketing research and consulting network, they found that we’re more likely to vocalize our negative experiences than our positive ones:

75% of the general population said that when they’ve had a bad experience with a product or service they advise friends and family. That surpasses the 42% who said they always recommend a product or service they really like; the 71% who said they’re always looking to experience something new; and the 67% who said they love telling people about something new they’ve learned.”[Hickman, Jill, and Wardah Malik. “Urban Legends: Word-of-Mouth Myths, Madvocates and Champions.” COLLOQUY TalkTalk. LoyaltyOne. Cincinnati, OH. March 2011. Reading.]

So, if this is true for corporations, how true is it for our friends, family, co-workers, and other acquaintances? How often do our loved ones get to hear that they’re appreciated? How often do cashier clerks and waitresses get to hear when they’ve done something right?

The next time you have a good experience, pay attention:

1. If it’s a family member or friend, sometimes the best compliment you can give is only a question away. Express interest in something they’re passionate about and encourage them in that passion.

2. If it’s someone waiting on you at a store or restaurant, make note of the the person’s name tag or ask for their name. Take quick mental notes and find a few attributes you really liked about the person helping you.

3. Highlight the things you appreciated about that person in a note or phone call to their boss. If you’re short on time, many restaurants and businesses have online feedback forms where you can submit your thoughts. It only takes 5 – 10 minutes at most to leave a quick note.

If you need more motivation for giving a compliment, some companies will even mail you coupons or gift cards to their store.

Michael and I once submitted positive feedback on Macaroni Grill’s website regarding our waitress. Within 2-3 weeks, we had a personal letter from customer relations and a $25 food gift certificate, thanking us for taking the time to share our experience. That’s was basically a free meal for 4 sentences and 5 minutes of our time.

Talk about a compliment that didn’t cost us anything!

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