Send compliments up the chain of command, too

Even the best writers appreciate compliments. This isn’t something I gave much thought to until very recently.

I’ve always tried to respect everyone with whom I’ve worked, no matter what their position. I pride myself on being an egalitarian, and I truly believe everyone has a contribution to make. I do have trouble with those who don’t work hard or don’t work to their potential, but that’s another post…

We all enjoy compliments; they make us feel valued. While it’s easy to compliment your staff or your peers, compliments don’t always work their way up the chain of command. I realized this a long time ago, and accordingly often communicated my respect to my bosses regarding their ideas and accomplishments.

This has startled my bosses, which I think is a bit sad. Now I’m not talking about being a sycophant; rather, I’m talking about genuine compliments and respect. When I was in the top position, I was saddened to see how many sycophants circled around me. I looked for the real people – there were many. But when I looked for the real compliments, there weren’t many. Now, some could argue that I didn’t deserve compliments, but I hope that’s not the case.

Recently, I complimented one of my long-time mentors. She is a fabulously creative writer and has many articles to her credit. I’ve always taken her talent for granted. She was the best when I met her twenty-some years ago, and she’s only gotten better. Surely she knows that and I don’t need to compliment her, right? My compliment was really matter-of-fact, and I didn’t think twice about it, until her reaction…

She was thrilled that I appreciated what she had done. I was surprised she valued my opinion to that extent.

So, here’s to you, Linda. You’re the best, and I can’t wait to read your new book.

The moral of the story: let’s not forget to compliment all those closest to us, whether it’s staff or peers or bosses or spouses or parents or kids or mentors or that stranger sitting next to you. You’ll make their day.

You’re never too old or too established to appreciate a good compliment.


3 Responses to Send compliments up the chain of command, too

  1. Linda Roach says:

    …And the hits just keep on coming! Seriously, I am again “feelin’ groovy” due to your kind words. You have a generous heart yet are not — and never will be — patronizing. And while I am once again honored by your appreciation of my work, I take my hat off to you for reminding people that, no matter how far up the scale they may ascend, there is always a time to TAKE the time to tell someone their professional labors have not gone unnoticed. This should, in fact, be required reading for all. Cheers to you, my friend!


  2. Donna McGovern says:

    Another salute to Linda Barber Roach from an old friend dating back to our New York City days. When most people our age were out partying on Saturday night, we were blowing each other’s mind with our own free-style poetry, sitting on the floor, reading by candlelight, with the Moody Blues playing in the background.


  3. Linda Barber Roach says:

    In the words of the generation(s) following behind, OMG (a phrase WE invented; they just get credit for the abbreviation)!!! I am moved/overwhelmed at your kindness, old and dear friend. We need to re-connect. And thank you, Theresa, for establishing the link that brought us here, together.


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