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31 Mar 2011

Complimenting with These Two Words is Powerful

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Strategic Complimenting

Complimenting with this compliment is powerful.

Complimenting is critical to success and this two-word compliment is very impactive.

Complimenting is critical to our success. There are many ways to do it. Some ways are better than others.

Complimenting is critical to networking upward. It presents us as positive and happy. It massages egos and lowers guards.

Strategic complimenting is critical to leadership. It builds organizational cultures and teams. It motivates and develops people.

Powerful Two-Word Compliment

“You’re right!” is a very powerful compliment. It is only two words too. There are many complements to this compliment. Here are a few. “You’re right . . .”

  • “I never thought of that.”
  • “I’ve never looked at it that way.”
  • “That’s certainly a good way to do it.”
  • “Your idea would work.”
  • “That’s how they would feel about it.”

Want to test it? Try it out on spouses or significant others. Be prepared for a jibe or two though.

Example Compliment’s Power

If you do not want to test it. I use this clip from the comedy movie, Animal House, as an example of the power in “You’re Right” Compliment.


Key phrase occurs at 1:50 mark. Please note profanity and threats used.

A cavalier fraternity, in which a brother Bluto played by John Belushi is trying to rally the house after being expelled from college for failing grades and unbecoming behavior. After his rally cry failed, one brother finally yelled, “Bluto’s right!” The look on Bluto’s face is a combination of surprise, bewilderment and doubt. We can tell that no one ever told him that.

Complimenting With It Can Be Difficult

People tend to find it difficult to compliment others let alone tell them they are right. They might have received few compliments in their lives. They might fear coming across as insincere.

Compliments can trigger fears of weakness. The warm and fuzzy feelings they stir can do this. Saying someone is right might seem as though we are saying we are wrong.

The above clip would not be funny if telling people they were right were a common event. How many times have you heard it? How many times have you heard others say it to others?

Go ahead. Practice. See for yourself. In your next conversation, find one thing the person was right about. Compliment him. Even if nothing happens, you will be happier.

Series Navigation<< Inadequacies of the Generic “Good Job” ComplimentStrategic Complimenting vs. Spontaneity >>

2 Responses

  1. Hi Mike,

    You’re right! Excellent for complimenting, and also for dealing with “difficult” people.
    I have used this phrase when talking to an angry customer, a person who was so eager to fight at that time for a little misunderstanding.
    After this phrase and stating exactly his same words regarding the matter he felt recognized and we were able to find a base point of understanding and got together to the solution.
    Thanks for sharing powerful stuff 🙂

    1. Mike Lehr

      Thank you, Carolina, for sharing your experience and insights. It’s great to get examples from others on the power behind these tips. Although, I posed it as a compliment, as you point out it can also be a powerful conflict resolution tool too.

      Thank you again! Have a great week. ~Mike

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