Thoughtful Thursdays

The Compliment Conundrum at Work

The Compliment Conundrum at Work

Most of us – men and women – like to get compliments on our appearance. Sure, it’s a little bit vain, but it’s nice to be acknowledged for a new, attractive haircut, a flattering dress or shirt, or recent weight loss. It’s nice when someone says, “You look great!” After all, the way we dress, style our hair, and accessorize our outfits is part of how we express ourselves in the world. It’s the first thing that people “see” about us.

That’s why it’s been so sad to watch my male colleagues struggle with giving compliments to women at work – or just stop doing it entirely. One guy, let’s call him Peter, whom I considered a good friend, told me that the company’s sexual harassment training had totally scared him. He felt that he had to stop saying anything about a woman’s appearance for fear of it being taken the wrong way.

The Compliment Conundrum at Work

Most of us – men and women – like to get compliments on our appearance. Sure, it’s a little bit vain, but it’s nice to be acknowledged for a new, attractive haircut, a flattering dress or shirt, or recent weight loss. It’s nice when someone says, “You look great!” After all, the way we dress, style our hair, and accessorize our outfits is part of how we express ourselves in the world. It’s the first thing that people “see” about us.

That’s why it’s been so sad to watch my male colleagues struggle with giving compliments to women at work – or just stop doing it entirely. One guy, let’s call him Peter, whom I considered a good friend, told me that the company’s sexual harassment training had totally scared him. He felt that he had to stop saying anything about a woman’s appearance for fear of it being taken the wrong way.

read more