Compliment Reception

You can respond in one of three ways when you receive a compliment.

  1. You can play the “humble” card and pass off the credit to someone else, or deflect back a compliment to the giver.
  2. You can respond negatively with cynicism and pessimism and just be a jerk about it.
  3. You can simply say “thank you” and smile with gratitude and care.

Only one of these options helps create a culture where you call out each other’s strengths and compliments are both encouraged but also accepted.


  1. Shelvia

    Curiously, is the humble card so bad? Share the win around?

    1. Rick

      Great point, Shelvia, and thanks for stopping by!

      I think that being humble is necessary, but when it’s the default action when you receive a compliment, people will get the point that you don’t like compliments, or that they’re not welcome in your space. If it’s honestly a team effort, and you want to spread out the credit, I think that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I still believe you need to acknowledge the compliment.

      “You know, it was really a team effort and I didn’t do that much” is much different than “Thank you. I appreciate it a lot. I would also be remiss to acknowledge the rest of my team, who really pulled through on this one.”

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