Most of the leadership & business books today advocate being generous in sharing compliments with co-workers and others. I find many to be insincere. What is the secret of giving a good compliment?
In giving a compliment avoid “glittering generalities.” Mention a specific trait you like about that person. Don’t merely say, “You are a great boss!” Explain why you think she is a great boss. For example, “You have created an enjoyable work environment. Your willingness to listen makes me feel significant in my job—especially last Friday when I was feeling down. Thank you.”
Explaining the details will take more time and require you to put some thought into your compliment. But it is worth it! You will have uplifted your boss. She already knows she’s “great.”
Similarly, with giving partners avoid glittering generalities like, “Your support is encouraging!” Rather try, “Your faithful giving each month without a miss puts wind in my ministry sails—thank you.”
Take your time.