Easter Egg Compliments

This Is Not Easy

The first law of likeability states that we like people who like us. But letting people know that you like them isn’t always easy to do.

Yes, there are people in this world who have no problem just opening their mouth and saying, “I like you.” Come to think of it, I’m one of those people but I’m smart enough to know that not everyone is comfortable with that approach.

This Is Simple

One of the simplest ways to let people know that you like them is to give them a sincere compliment. The keyword is sincere. If you give someone a compliment for the sake of giving a compliment you will come across as a fraud and do more harm than good.

There are different kinds of compliments including:

  • External compliments – where you compliment someone on an exterior feature like the dress they’re wearing.
  • Internal compliments – where you dig deeper and compliment someone on their actions or behavior.
  • And my favorite, the Easter Egg Compliment.

The best way to describe an Easter Egg Compliment is through a story.

So What Happened?books

My younger son Joel, the fodder for much of my likeability material, works at a bookstore here on Maui. His girlfriend recently interviewed for a job at the same bookstore.

During the interview, the manager told my son’s girlfriend how fantastic Joel was at providing exceptional customer service. She went on to say that she encourages all of her employees to watch how Joel treats customers so they can see what she expects of each and every employee.

Needless to say, Joel’s girlfriend told him exactly what his manager told her about him, and he was delighted. His impression of his manager jumped through the roof. In his mind, she went from being a good manager to a great manager.

I call this an Easter Egg Compliment because it’s initially hidden from the recipient to discover later. And it’s always a thrill when the recipient finds it.

But Wait, There’s More

There’s an additional benefit to an Easter Egg Compliment. When someone says something nice about you to another person, both you and the person who shared the compliment with you are privy to how wonderful you are. It’s a double win.

gossipYou Don’t Want To Do This

But remember, it’s not just the nice things you say about people that get back to them. Gossip has a way of traveling even faster. Before you utter a word about someone, know that what you say is going to get back to them. You don’t want to be responsible for distributing rotten eggs.

Imagine how Joel would have felt about his manager if she had mentioned to his girlfriend something less than positive about his work ethic.

Here’s what I want you to do. Starting with the next person you see, I want you to say something nice about a third person the two of you have in common. Be sincere and know with certainty that what you say is going to get back to them … because it will.

Then, start dropping Easter Egg compliments as frequently as possible and watch what happens. Everyone likes to find Easter Eggs … and the sooner, the better.

2 Comments

  • By Sally O'Malley, March 19, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    I am doing a report on ‘Likeability’ for a class project. Part I of the project is a review of a book I read on likeability, and Part II involves demonstrating the concept of likeability in the classroom setting. I love the idea of Easter egg compliments as a tool I could use to demonstrate likeability to my classmates, but I am stumped on how to drive the point home. Do you have any suggestions?

  • By Bob Sommers, March 19, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    Hi Sally:
    You could have each of the students break up into groups of two and have them compliment each other on a third person in the room. Then you could ask some of the students (not all of them) to share with the class what their partner told them about that person. I think that in and of itself will drive the point home. Have fun and please let me know how it turns out.

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