Feedback is important. It can help people improve or be encouraged to continue demonstrating their strengths and positive qualities. Feedback is vital to relationships, quality performance and a business’ bottom line. People need to know how they are doing.
It seems easier, generally, for us to complain and criticize when something doesn’t go well, than it is to offer encouragement and acknowledgment for something done well. It seems that criticizing or complaining is welcomed and socially accepted. Sometimes complaining occurs for no good reason, almost as if it’s become a bad habit. Complaining brews negativity and a false sense of superiority. Compliments on the other hand are powerful and positive for all involved. They are said to increase endorphins for the giver and the receiver and are like nutrients that help us grow to be the best we can be. When given sincerely, there is no downside to a compliment.
I understand the power of a compliment, and yet at times have to remind myself to make the effort to offer one or to forget about any concern of how it will be received or considered. Recently, I had an experience in which I was reminded of the importance. I was in the city for a doctor’s appointment, not serious, but not necessarily enjoyable, either. There was a young woman helping me, from the moment I arrived until the moment I left, a period of about two hours. Throughout the experience, she and every other person working with me was so caring and thoughtful, I almost felt like I was at a spa. I told her that I appreciated her efforts to make me feel as comfortable as possible and the experience as pleasant as could be. She responded, “You will make me cry.” Later, I thanked her again. We talked a bit about sharing my reactions about my experience on a comment card. Absolutely. When I was done for the day, the young woman gave me a huge hug and with the most sincere, grateful eyes, said, “Thank you for making this day so great, it was really a day for you, but thank you for making it great for me too, this Christmas will surely be a good one.”
Filling out a comment card took about three minutes tops, and I’m not really sure if it helped that woman’s Christmas, but if it did ~ it was the easiest gift to offer! I never thought of a comment card changing someone’s holiday experience, but they really do matter! Remind yourself this new year, to offer compliments and praise for jobs well done. It may just change you and the people you offer them to!
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