Rare Compliments by Kim Fernandez

About a year ago, I sent a complimentary email about someone to his boss, thinking she should know about the great job he was doing. Several hours later, she wrote back, “Thank you for your note. We don’t often hear from people with good things to say.”

Tell me that doesn’t break your heart just a little bit. Maybe you’re nodding in agreement with her. We’re (the editorial “we,” of course, not you and me specifically) very quick to file complaints, verbally or in writing, when someone slips up on the job, but those nice notes? They seem to get lost in our mental shuffles. So much to do; so little time.

A friend told me a few weeks ago, “We live on compliments,” and I think it’s pretty spot-on, especially in an industry such as parking where the complaints and insults can fly a lot more frequently than the niceties. We all like hearing we’re doing a good job and most people don’t hear it often enough.

It’s Friday, and where I am, the sun is shining and the day feels full of potential. I’m issuing myself a challenge and I hope you’ll challenge yourself and your colleagues with me: For every complaint (maybe every two or three; we’ll be reasonable), give someone a compliment. Say something nice. Tell someone they’re doing a great job, in our out of your department. Tell someone who works for you, the barista who foams up your latte, the guy or girl who rings up your next cart of groceries, or even your spouse, significant other, kid, or neighbor. And then give yourself a pat on the back, because you just did a great thing yourself.

4 thoughts on “Rare Compliments by Kim Fernandez

  1. Great blog Kim. Ours is an industry where at least 95 percent of the time things go as planned. We give great service and our customers, guests and patrons are happy with the outcome and I’m guessing outside of collection agencies, maybe, that other industries have similar good track records. It seems to me that this presents plenty of opportunities for compliments and for just being nice.

  2. Nice post, Kim. An unexpected compliment makes people smile and improves both their mood and your own. It’s good to remind each other of something that costs so little and pays back so much.

  3. Inspiring blog Kim. Thank you. This is a great suggestion for everyone, but more importantly, those defined as leaders should take this idea to heart.

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