There are tons of techniques to giving constructive criticism as feedback.  I’m sure I will talk about this at some point. Right now, I want to focus on the positive feedback moments.

Confession time:  I’m a fairly confident woman yet I clearly have issues. One of them is I don’t take compliments well.   Sometimes, I try to brush off the compliment.  Sometimes, I try to reject the compliment. Sometimes, I redirect the compliment. Rarely, do I just accept the compliment. However, a few weeks I go I had one of the moments where not only did I accept the compliment; I basked in it for days.

I presented at the Agile 2013 conference about my journey into leadership. This was a very honest session about my mistakes and growth over the years. My goal was to inspire even one person that becoming a leader is not easy but the results will be well worth the work.

At the end of the session, I received very positive feedback counts. I had numerous comment cards with remarks that confirmed my goal was achieved. People even waited in line to thank me after the session. I received valuable feedback on things I could do better next time. All of that was fabulous but my normal reactions to compliments were in full force.


Then I noticed Martin (@martinheider), someone I had met briefly earlier this year still waiting in the room.  He approached me and handed me this personalized appreciation card:

Obviously, the back was not blank on the one he handed me but I’ve chosen not to share that directly as they were his private thoughts.

After reading the back, I simply said thank you and immediately wanted to hug him.  Don’t worry, I asked if I may hug him before I actually did.  In addition, I carried that card with me every day of the conference and for some time afterwards.

So what made his approach easier for me to accept the compliment?

  • He clearly invested time in writing and waiting to personally hand this appreciation directly to me.  There’s no shocker that face to face is best but a personal token seemed to increase the impact of the appreciation.
  • I’m assuming he only brought so many of these cards.  He personally chose this moment worthy of genuine appreciation and not out of obligation.  That’s pretty sweet!

I’ve always known that appreciation goes a long way.  Turns out that when you go a long way to give appreciation to someone, they realize it and are able to truly accept it.

How do you show your appreciation?

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick is a leadership and organizational advisor. Her transformational leadership at all levels of an organization, ignites growth of leaders and high performing teams to deliver quality outcomes. Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in the software development industry. She is a highly-rated trainer, coach, facilitator and motivational keynote speaker. Beyond her extensive knowledge and skills, her biggest offering is inspiring people to believe anything is possible.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.