Career Reflections

Compliments ARE Worth Money: The Latest Research on How Compliments Impact Earning Potential

What exactly is a compliment?  Well, if you Google it, you’ll most likely see a polite expression of praise or admiration.  Who doesn’t want to give, or even receive, compliments?  But, did you know this act of kindness has more to offer concerning your earning potential?

Thanks to a joint study conducted by the National Institute of Physiological Sciences, Nagoya Institute of Technology, and the University of Tokyo, their results showed a positive correlation to compliments received at work with improvement in skills performed in the work environment.  Maybe this is something that doesn’t seem so ridiculous, because who doesn’t have a more profound, energized pep in their step after their boss praises their hard effort? (Rhetorical question, of course!)  But, what is interesting and worth noting is the advancements technology is giving neuroscientists in their ability to literally put evidence behind century-long human hunch.

Mark Twain - I Can Live For 2 Months On A Good Compliment

A contributing author to the study performed, Norihiro Sadata, shared, “To the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being rewarded money.  We’ve been able to find scientific proof that a person performs better when he/she receive a social reward after completing an exercise.  There seems to be scientific validity behind the message ‘praise to encourage improvement‘.  What this summarizes for us is that complimenting someone could become an easy and effective strategy to use to drive improvement … perhaps in the classroom, during rehabilitation, or even in the work setting.”  And, as it relates to your work performance, receiving compliments is proving to be a positive impact on your performance outcome.  Why?  Well, as the study suggests upon receiving a compliment, after a good night’s rest the brain’s consolidation process was more efficient and the skill(s) you’re honing during your time at work grow in strength.

So, if you’re the big boss in the office, finding work endeavors worth complimenting on a consistent basis may be a great method for performance improvement.  And, if you’re a worker bee wanting to keep giving it your better self, you should definitely forward this post out to your boss and ask: “So … where do you feel I’m doing my best?”  So … what are you waiting for?  Get to giving and receiving compliments!

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