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The Art of Influential Compliments

June 05, 20242 min read

The Art of Influential Compliments

Giving compliments can backfire. It can feel like flattery. Manipulative.

Especially when the person is "above" you in a hierarchy (e.g. your boss).

But if you're good at compliments, you can influence pretty much anyone.

Why? Everyone's DESPERATE for genuine praise.


● Your restaurant waiters

● Your significant other

● Your child's teacher

● Your direct boss

● Their boss

● The CEO

Everyone you know. Completely desperate.

They WANT to receive praise.

But they're also highly suspicious of it.

So how do you give compliments that are:

● Genuine?

● Effective?

● Influential?

Turns out there's an easy trick to it. See if you can spot it.

⛔️ Bad Compliment:

"Wow Sandy, your speech was amazing!"

✅️ Good Compliment:

"Wow Sandy, it takes a lot of skill to give a speech like that!"

Did you see it? Let's try another.

⛔️ Bad Compliment:

"Wow boss, you really know how to handle upset customers!"

✅️ Good Compliment:

"Wow boss, it takes a lot of poise to handle an upset customer like that!"

I bet you got it this time!

Here's the difference between the bad examples and the good examples:

⛔️ Bad Compliment:

Focused on the person. What they have, or what they did.

✅️ Good Compliment:

Focused on the positive qualities needed to do what they did.

When you focus on the person, they feel your spotlight on them.

It's uncomfortable for most people.

● They're likely to feel defensive.

● They may feel manipulated.

● Even if you don't mean to.

If you focus on positive qualities, it feels more objective.

● You're not judging them directly.

● You're judging what's needed to do what they did.

They'll see the positive qualities in their mind and be happy they have them.

They'll feel good about themselves, and they'll associate you with the positive emotion they feel.

You can go and use this today.


Dave Wolovsky
Your Career Growth Engineer

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Dave Wolovsky

Dave Wolovsky is a Career Growth Engineer, turning Talented Introverts into Pay Raise Prodigies, and sharing the secrets of empathy driven salary negotiation.

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