Generous Credit and Compliments|Jill Lublin

Giving credit where credit is due is an important aspect of being a great leader. Generously thanking, complimenting, or praising a staff member, vendor, or customer—even for the most mundane thing—shows people you take the time out of your schedule to notice them and to stop what you are doing to acknowledge them. And when you are receiving credit for something you haven’t personally done or conceptualized, be sure to redirect the compliment. A great leader in business knowshow to graciously pass on a compliment to the person who truly deserves it. Good leaders don’tcare about taking credit; they just care about doing good work. Blogger Tom Basson poignantly wrote in his post, “Real Leaders Don’t Take Credit,” “Real leaders take the blame and give thecred- it. Empathy, humility, and kindness are signs of leadership strength—not weakness.”

This kind of leadership has been dubbed Servant Leadership. And Basson believes that leaders who do not ad- here to the concept of “service above self” will never engender the trust,confidence, and loyalty of customers, employees, or colleagues. According to his website, when assessing what kind of leader we currently are, Basson suggests asking your-self the following questions:

  • Do you shift the blame for problems?
  • Do you need to take credit for your good decisions?
  • Would you be described as kind and empathetic?
  • Do you ask yourself “What can I do to help?”

Complimenting others generously has been proven by re- searchers to work just as well ascash when it comes to help- ing people perform better. Compliments can increase clients andcustomers, put them at ease, invite them to give you more feedback, and make them trust you more—all of which are important to running and growing your business. A wild experiment at Purdue University led students Cameron Brown and Brett Westcott to dedicate everyWednesday to offering compliments to other students on campus, saying things like, “Nice shirt,” “You have great curly hair,” and “You deserve to have a great day.”

For ears they included complimenting the staff of the university, telling personnel, “Keep up the good work” and “Thanks for all you do here.” The result? Students rerout- ed themselves between classes just to hear the compliments. We can make our own clients and customerswant to come back by letting them know how special and unique they are. Watch them reroute to your business all for the price of a compliment.