For some reason I was thinking about my daughter-in-law’s birthday. She’s a wonderful woman, a fantastic mother, and a quality human being in every way. She is full of faith, grace and is a joy to be around. She and my son are growing kids that are a funny, creative, intelligent and a real pleasure. I’m not just saying that because they are my grandchildren – it really is true!
One of the nice things about the way we celebrate birthdays is a tradition my wife started when our children were small. After the birthday meal, after the candles are blown out, but before we eat the cake, or pie, or special dessert; we take time to compliment the birthday celebrant. It isn’t just a compliment; it is goes deeper than that. We take time to go deeper and explain an attribute we’ve observed and really appreciate about that person. Some call it a ‘strength-centered compliment’. It’s as simple as this, “I really appreciate (insert name) and the reason I say that is…”
Our grandchildren are being steeped in this family tradition that my wife started so long ago. It is a very valuable time for both the giver of the compliment and the receiver.
Great leaders show appreciation and are generous with compliments. But they go a little deeper. They recognize and help build character qualities by acknowledging those strengths to the person involved. They give out their character affirmations in front of others. It’s easy to forget to say thank you. Remembering to say thank you is a great quality, but recognizing the character trait that motivated the behavior (politeness, kindness, manners, etc.) sets great leadership apart.
Points to Ponder –
What is the difference between a compliment and a strength-centered compliment?
Do you readily and easily share compliments with those who deserve it? Why isn’t it more common to show heart felt appreciation?
When was the last time you wrote a thank you note and mailed it?
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