The Power of a Compliment

The Power of a Compliment

By: Gary Bergenske

    Have you ever wondered what keeps people excited, motivated and eager to be so helpful in a volunteer organization?  How is it that some leaders in an all volunteer program have all of the cheerful help they need? Then for others, help is so thin they often end up doing the work themselves?  In short, it can be directly related to the positive influence and personal recognition given to those who work around you.  A compliment, a thank you, the ability to let someone know how much you appreciate them for what they have done, is what can make the difference.  I do not know of a person that does not enjoy being appreciated for what he has done, and in most cases it gives them just the fuel needed to do more.  Mark Twain once said, “One compliment can keep me going for a whole month.”  As easy as it sounds, many leaders fail to do this simple task, and in return they lose the support of many just waiting to be recognized and asked to help with the next project.


     To get the most support from everyone, treat them all as if they were a 10.  If they believe they are a 10 in your book, they will try to live up to that level.  Think about it for a minute, go back in time, surely you had a teacher or a coach or a friend that always believed you were outstanding, he thought you were a perfect 10.  Didn’t you always give it the extra effort so his faith would continue?  Your ability to perform for a person who is convinced you are a 10 is always going to be better than for someone who treats you like a 3.  This will build positive relationships that will result in people working as a team to get the job done.  People will value and respect each other, they will enjoy their time together, and as a result will follow and support their leader.  All this for a simple compliment and a sincere thank you.


     You might say, where do I start?  Get it rolling by catching someone doing something right.  Make it a goal to give out three compliments every day to people you work with.  Follow that up with a minimum of three sincere thank you’s to people that have helped make your day better.  As a leader, you should also provide constant recognition for those that have worked above and beyond for you.  It can be as simple as naming a Person of the Month, or giving out special small gifts, or as powerful as sending out five thank you’s in the mail each month. Can you remember the last time you received an unexpected thank you card in the mail?  How did it make you feel?  Think of the support you could build by simply making those around you feel like a 10,  appreciated and needed.  Try it, start building your team of 10’s now, and as a leader you will have continual supportive help.


“We gain what we want through the help and support of others

by complimenting them.   To thank everyone, to make them feel

 appreciated and needed, this contributes immeasurably to our success. 

When we coordinate our efforts with all those around us our goals

will become reachable and successful.” 

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