Reactions to Compliments
Concordia University - Wisconsin
MBA 553 – Sales Management
Professor Michelle Jost
December 2, 2008
Through this assignment, I have learned that most individuals do not know how to take a compliment. Over the past two days I have complimented four individuals within my department and have either received an immediate counter-response that was negative or an indication that other people should are the ones to be recognized.
Not knowing where I should begin, I started this experiment with a giving a simple compliment to a coworker, Patricia, who brought in cookies to share with the department. After taking a bite of the cookie, I thanked her for bringing them in and told her that she ...view middle of the document...
Later while in the cafeteria at lunch, I complimented another coworker, Jennifer, on a graph she incorporated into a report sent earlier in the day. I indicated to her that the graph made the information easier to understand to a visual person, such as myself. The immediate reaction I received from her was that it was actually Joe’s idea to add the graph and not hers. She continued on indicating that she was just following instructions and that it was no big deal to add it to the report.
The next day I decided to compliment two individuals at once to see if I received a different reaction. In my decision of whom to compliment, I immediately thought of Jim and Rhonda and how they were working well together on the implementation of new accounting software. When I approached them together and complimented them on their teamwork and the progress of the project, they both acted as if I had just criticized them. I got the impression from their reaction that they were not at all happy with what they had accomplished so far, that the project was taking longer than expected, and learned of all the things that had gone wrong from the start.
In complimenting Patricia, Jennifer, Jim, and Rhonda it was apparent that each of them deflected the compliments received and diminished the impact of those compliments. It was surprising and obvious that none of them knew how to take a compliment and that it made them uncomfortable. In completing this assignment and evaluating the reactions received, I realized that I too fall into the same trap when receiving a compliment. As this assignment uncovered, most individuals react with a counter-response and will not accept a compliment.