Can I Give You a Compliment?


The old prophet once said, “Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed – kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Over the last few months, I’ve been intentionally practicing giving authentic encouragement to others.  It was brought to my attention that the fragrance of the rose remains on the hand of the person who gives it.

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39 thoughts on “Can I Give You a Compliment?

  1. I really enjoyed this! Something to think about 🙂

  2. Thank you “Ms. Broken”. I really appreciate the compliment. ; )

  3. Tagrid Sihly says:

    I think gestures of gratitude and recognition go a long way in raising people’s morale and helping them feel appreciated. I would not walk over to someone, however, and ask them if I can give a compliment. I would just do it. When a compliment is genuine, it will be recognized and accepted. This is a great post.

  4. Good point, maybe thats my problem not enough honey butter spread.

  5. I enjoyed this post. In my opinion the way you deliver the compliment seems fine–especially if it works for you and your relationships. Workers tend to derive morale and motivation from being part of something important, the ability to make a difference, and in being able to use their talents at work. The environment needs to foster that first. I think the compliment is mostly about building rapport. But, hey, it can’t hurt!

  6. Straight and to the point,excellent Cranston!

  7. Ian Munro says:

    Nice post Cranston! I love the concept. Two thoughts come to mind. First, that with practice we will likely find that we can drop the lead-in of “Can I give you a compliment” as it will become natural just to deliver the compliment with no awkwardness.

    The second thing is kind of the flip side. It is just important for us to be able to receive compliments. Too often we say “that’s nothing” or “I had help. Please don’t credit me” out of humility. As you indicated above, sometimes it takes a lot of courage to deliver a compliment and when we deflect (perhaps reject?) them we are actually diminishing or rejecting something they might have put a lot of energy into them, thereby diminishing the person.

  8. To be truly appreciated is wonderful. To express that is immeasurable. “Authentic encouragement” – truly admirable. I love your quote: “the fragrance of the rose remains on the hand of the person who gives it.”

    Thank you for reminding us what we get in return when we tell others how much we appreciate them. (And, thank you for following me. I do enjoy your posts.)

  9. Thank you so much. Another great quote is “a candle losses nothing when it lights another candle”

  10. Old Ab Lincoln said, “Everybody loves a compliment,” or from the best book written out there, How to win friends and influence people, “be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”

  11. Lea Anne says:

    Hi Cranston, I like your posts and started reading all of it. Thank you for following my blog. and I love this post of yours as well, especially this statement when you said “When you do this so much it becomes part of your routine, it will become who you are.” Truly when we do it more often, and regularly, it becomes who we are. =) Thanks Cranston, and hope to be friends with a good and sensible person like you. (my sincere compliment based on what I read on your blogs =) Take care always!

  12. Lea Anne says:

    You are always welcome Cranston. I just tell the truth based on what I see on your posts. What people say reflects what kind of person they are, right? 🙂 When I remembered a passage from the bible in Matthew 12:34 “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” =) Keep up the good work Cranston. I like your thoughts and how you express it in your writings.

  13. Enna says:

    I am a HUGE fan of compliments and encouragement. Never under estimate the positive impact of the “handwritten” note either. It has gone the way of the dinosaur with the electronic era but it’s still classy and appreciated. Great post!

  14. Reblogged this on Movers, Shakers, Leadership Makers and commented:
    Got Honey? If not GET SOME!

  15. Loved the post – and you can always practice on me if you want. I’m always open to hearing “Can I give you a compliment?”

    Just kidding… kinda… 🙂

  16. Great advice. Thanks for sharing!

  17. aimeecartier says:

    Great post. Love the honey quote. I learned the art of compliment giving from a friend I knew in my 20’s. She always complimented people on whatever she found striking or beautiful about them. It just came naturally to her– and I realized I could do the same. Now, whenever something strikes me about someone I just say it. It’s fun for me, and them.

  18. sbarbknecht says:

    This is a great word! Thanks for sharing and inspiring others to live this out, too. I appreciate your blog very much. Keep runnin’ the race…you are transforming lives along the way. Blessings.

  19. georgia says:

    Nice perspective. It’s not easy to give and receive compliments.

    I dare to add to your insights that timing is everything when paying a compliment to someone. Compliments corrupt people’s modesty and they may turn out dangerous for both sides. It’s just a human nature molecular thing, I suppose.

    I avoid them as much as possible and try to replace them with facts. Indeed, people react faster to words than to any other evidence, but faster does not also mean better.

    It takes a lot of balance and wisdom in the other person to know how to take a compliment without feeling pride growing inside – which almost instantly leads to vulnerabilty, and a lot of attention in the person who sends the compliment in order to know at what time to offer it in order to not harm him/her starting from a good intention.

    Sometimes, that shining light on the other people face as a result to compliment is not the right light, but the light of pride and that means that you just made someone more vulnerable than he/she already was.

    • Lots of good points you have. You sound very wise.

      You know I use to never give money to beggars in the city because I knew they wouldn’t spend the money wisely (probably on drugs and alcohol). My friend on the other hand always did. I asked him why. He told me it didn’t matter what THEY decided to do with what he gave. What was important is that HE gave and the person it was making out of him.

      I always give now. Not because I worry that the beggars will fail a test of character, but because its a test of my character.

  20. How Leaders Manage says:
  21. Hi Cranston, doing a blog post on this tomorrow with link back to your site! 🙂

  22. That has been my philosophy for quite awhile, so now, it’s not even a habit it just comes naturally! I highly recommend this practice, because lifting someone else’s spirits will inevitably lift your own! That’s a promise!

    Regarding the beggar/homeless person, perhaps the alcohol is the only thing that’s keeping them warm at night. So many people don’t understand that – which is really sad.

  23. Hello,

    I enjoyed reading this post after hearing about TodaysManager on Practical practice Management. And yes, delivery of the compliment is important. It has to be genuine and therefore should be delivered in a way you are comfortable.

    As ever, Martin

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