Published in Collaboration

Image credit by Fiqri Ramadhan

Image by Fiqri Ramadhan

Muhammad Raufan Yusup

November 19, 2021

Giving a compliment and how to react to it

My observation on how people give a compliment and how to react to a compliment if they received it at work

My observation on how people give a compliment and how to react to a compliment if they received it at work

Originally posted on my Twitter in Indonesian ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Link to thread

Seeing @IndoWorkAbroad's tweet yesterday about giving compliments, it makes me think and reflect on the situation I've been through for half a year here. Then I thought, "Yes, too, just small things are complimented here." I will share a little story about this.

๐Ÿงต Giving and how to react to a compliment ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

I looked back and reflected, I personally rarely to give received a compliment when I was working in Indonesia. Even to @_zahraul my closest partner in various projects at my previous company.


And in my previous company too, my lead also likes to compliment the team that just finished presenting to BOD. But still, when I remembered, it feels like the team are still sometimes confused about how to react to a compliment, and this resulted in just reading the compliment without reacting to it.


Maybe because if you use Indonesian, it's awkward, right? Such as "hey, you're doing a great job!" so "Hey, km melakukan pekerjaan yg sangat baik" Idk but yeah it shouldn't be that formal anyway.

When I think about it again, I rarely do this (giving and receiving compliments) during work. And here, people don't hesitate to praise other people's efforts.

Before writing this, I was scrolling through the Slack chat in my office to see how other people give compliments and receive compliments, here's a summary of what I got and hopefully useful:

  • Be authentic

  • Be Specific

  • Communicate the impact


Be Authentic

Praise if they deserve to be praised. If the intention is not genuine, the compliment too. Praise for small or simple points is also okay. In fact, several times people here praise as simple as the new hairstyles of other people.


Be Specific

"This is great!" - what's great?

"I really like your solution!" - why do you like it?

"You're doing a good job!" - on what and why?


The details and context of why we give compliments are also important, so the recipient also knows why we give compliments. It's not just nonsense.

This is also what people in the office often do. When they get a positive impact from what other people are doing, they will definitely give praise and say thanks, such as "Thank you for handling this, your work makes my project easier because..."

How to react to a compliment

- Keep it simple
- Share compliments to people who work together with you
- Don't turn down a compliment

Again, this is based on my office mate and I'm trying to summarize the pattern, the breakdown is below:


Keep it Simple

Yes, it's simple, "Thank you!" or "Thank you, I appreciate the compliment" or "Thank you, it means a lot to me" etc etc


Share compliments to people who work together with you

If you do something together with other people, when you get a compliment, share it with your colleagues. For example "Thank you! I did this together with ..., he did great research that supported my design"


Don't turn down a compliment

Usually, Indonesian people are like "uh, you're beautiful", and the answer is "ah no, you're more beautiful" Haha. In here, people rarely turn down a compliment, on average, it's answered simply like above. Just enjoy the achievements that you have done.

That's a summary of what I experienced on the office slack channel. I sometimes forget to react to a compliment too. If there is another talk under the compliment, I usually respond directly to the other words below it.  ๐Ÿ˜…

End of Thread. Thanks for Reading.