First, let's remember that there's a difference between sincere praise, and empty "fawning" over someone. Dr. Bonnie Jacobson, a professor of psychology at NYU, say real praise fuels motivation and inspires long-lasting goodwill. But not everyone can take a compliment. Do you or do you know someone who constantly puts off compliments? Like, if someone says, "Wow! You look great in that new dress!" do you say, "C'mon look how huge my hips look!" Women do this more than men because they're raised to think that if they say, "Yeah, I do look great, thanks" they'll come off as vain and self-centered. But think about it--when you brush off a compliment, you're telling the other person that they're wrong!
When it comes to the workplace, I'm afraid we do an even worse job.
A study at Baruch College in New York found that most employees' biggest complaint wasn't that they were under-praised, but they were just flat-out ignored by their bosses. The employees surveyed even preferred negative feedback to no feedback at all. So bosses, know this: A simple "thanks for the hard work" or "excellent job today" e-mail goes a long, long way.
So what the lesson you can take away from this?
Dr. Johnson says we should all practice accepting compliments when they're given. Just simply say, "Thank you." Don't feign modesty. And we should all give more sincere compliments. It's the simplest way to make someone's day and it'll come right back at ya.