Monday, April 16, 2012


No technical stuff here today...let's call it a focus on the soft skills.

Been pondering this one for some time now. I wanted to add some of it to a recent post, but ultimately left it out.

How to Take Compliments
I've struggled with this one myself at times. Someone says something very nice to me and I'll hem and haw. It feels...embarrassing. Maybe I don't really deserve it? Am I conceited to accept this? Etc.

I try to accept the compliment, when given now, with grace. "Thank you, I appreciate that." instead of deflecting the attention away (from myself, as I'm wont to do).

Here's 8 easy steps...
  1. Understand what deflecting a compliment is really about
  2. Think about taking a compliment as an exercise in being assertive
  3. See accepting a compliment as a compliment in itself
  4. Decide how you'd like to take the compliment
  5. Smile
  6. If you suspect that the sincerity of the compliment is questionable or the compliment is confusing, you might want to open up an opportunity to explore it
  7. Return a compliment later
  8. Give credit where credit is due - I like this one. I usually have a lot of help at work and I try to make sure that others are included, if not by the complimentor then at least by me. I'm sure it has something to do with playing a lot of team sports growing up too.
How to Say You're Sorry
I dislike but-monkeys. What is a but-monkey? Someone who says something like, "I am sorry for what I did, but..." - the ellipsis could be something like, "you brought this on yourself" or "you did x, y and z." This isn't an apology. Say you are sorry and don't make excuses, period. I have become good at apologizing. I'm not sure that's a good thing as it implies I've made a lot of mistakes. Well, guess what? I have made mistakes in my life. Whether I realize it immediately or some time in the future, I do my best to accept responsibility and apologize.

The most common cause of failure in an apology--or an apology altogether avoided--is the offender's pride. It's a fear of shame. To apologize, you have to acknowledge that you made a mistake. You have to admit that you failed to live up to values like sensitivity, thoughtfulness, faithfulness, fairness, and honesty. This is an admission that our own self-concept, our story about ourself, is flawed. To honestly admit what you did and show regret may stir a profound experience of shame, a public exposure of weakness. Such an admission is especially difficult to bear when there was some degree of intention behind the wrongdoing.

I had one more but it seems to have escaped me at the moment.

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