Last week, I complimented someone on an article written well and was overjoyed to receive a gracious ‘thank you’. This is the most appropriate response to a compliment, I think. Let me share the range of responses one typically gets –

–        It is not really that big a deal!

–        It was just in the department newsletter!

–        I guess I just got lucky!

–        I surprised myself!

–      And sometimes the story about how the achievement came about!

Whether these are driven by childhood conditioning, desire to appear modest or low self-esteem, all the above reactions minimize the achievement and make one look less confident. They reduce the importance of recognition and make one look demure and submissive and in turn make the complimenter uncomfortable.

Let us look at some alternatives, especially suited for work place –

–        Thank you for noticing

–        I appreciate the compliment

–        Thank you. I am happy with how it turned out

–        Thank you. I am proud of what I achieved and must give credit to those who helped me along the way.

–        Thank you. I really enjoyed working on this project

By graciously accepting a compliment you foster authentic expressions of encouragement and show the complimenter, you trust them. Go ahead and own your awesomeness!