Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

Complimenting by Style

The Situation: You are the supervisor and your boss has told you that morale seems to be lagging. Her remedy: You should make it a point to give reinforcement that is more positive to the troops.

You know you have employees in each of the four behavioral styles, each with different motivation. Feedback that pleases some may seem irrelevant, or even mildly insulting, to others. How do you match your compliments to your workers to boost morale?

Indirect and Open

Stress their teamwork. Emphasize, when true, the high esteem in which they are held by others, not only as a producer but also as a friendly co-worker who is good for the office's social chemistry.

Praise their relationship skills. Tell them you admire their ability to get along with others and, you note, how they always have a friendly ear for a colleague.

Tell them how consistently well they perform. Explain how you have come to depend on them, day in and day out, for quality work and for not posing problems for management. "If I had a whole roomful of employees like you, my job would be a piece of cake!"

Mention that you personally, apart from your role as supervisor, value them as a friend and associate.
Direct and Open

Pay homage to their ideas, their creativity. "You may have more ideas in a week than I have in a year!"

Tell them how well liked they are by others, that they have natural charisma and verve. In addition, can they ever be persuasive!

He or she is also such a fun person to have on the staff, you remind them, and a genuinely warm person, to boot.
Indirect and Guarded

Laud the quality of their work: its thoroughness, precision, and efficiency.

Tell them you marvel at how well organized they are and how they've developed systems and procedures that make the whole place run more smoothly, logically.

"I admire your conscientiousness and persistence, too. Once you get on a project, you are like a bulldog, digging up information and sticking with the task until it is complete. I know when I give you something, it's going to be done right."
Direct and Guarded

Cite their achievements, perhaps listing the various jobs they have had as they have risen in the ranks. Praise their productivity, their speed, and their decisiveness. Tell them you admire -- perhaps even envy -- their leadership skills.

"You've accomplished a lot here. You are a person who always gets results. In addition, you are the kind of employee for whom good enough isn't. You are always making that extra effort to be a winner and make this company a winner, too. That's the kind of drive I think is going to be recognized and rewarded by the 'Top Brass' as time goes by."

Here's to more personal insight,


image_1Make your compliments count with clear communication.

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