Offer Sincere and Specific Compliments

When I ask audiences, “How many of you have received a sincere and specific compliment today?” only a smattering of hands go up. I then ask for volunteers to share the compliments they received and how they made them feel. Generally, the volunteers say the compliments made them feel appreciated, valued, respected, and important—all of which foster positive relationships. And almost always, after people share the compliments they received, their comments are validated by smiles, nods of recognition, and applause from the others in the audience.

When I question why more people in the room had not been complimented that day, I hear responses such as “People are too busy or preoccupied to notice an opportunity ...

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