How to Compliment a Team Member

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Most working people spend at least one-third of their day at their offices. A significant portion of that time is spent interacting with colleagues. It is therefore important to nurture relationships at the workplace with as much care as you do at home. A sincere compliment is one that is heartfelt, focused on the receiver and a result of good observation. When you sincerely compliment the people on your team, they feel appreciated, which creates a positive atmosphere where members strive to do their best to achieve team goals.

Find something you genuinely like about your colleague. It may be a special talent he has, such as his way with words or his skill in technical troubleshooting. Or, it may be a particular quality such as his optimistic outlook, calm disposition or ability to adapt.

Select the right words to express your appreciation. Use words that describe the particular quality you appreciate. For example, when a team member manages to complete a difficult task, it may be a result of her hard work, self discipline, creativity or logical thinking. Word your compliment to highlight that specific attribute.

Begin a compliment with the word “You.” This puts the entire focus on the person receiving it. For example, when complimenting a team member on the way he handled a difficult client, say “You have an amazing way with people,” rather than “I noticed how good you are at communicating.”

Provide an example of when you noticed your team member's quality work. This shows that you have been attentive and your colleague will consider the compliment a sincere one. For example, if your colleague worked hard to get a presentation ready on time, say, “You are so reliable. When that Jones project came up at the last minute, everyone was wondering if we would make it on time. I appreciate the way you worked on your own time to complete the presentation.”

Notice the small things your team member does that makes work more pleasant for the team. Compliment her for being helpful or a good sport, showing concern for others or having a sense of humor or a positive way of looking at things. Don’t wait for a major event to show your appreciation of these qualities. Compliment her when you notice it.

About the Author

Hailing out of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Stewart has been writing articles since 2004, specializing in consumer-oriented pieces. He holds an associate degree in specialized technology from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

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