Scheduling a Compliment Party – Guest Post by Katie McKenna

 

Today’s post is provided by Katie McKenna author of How to Get Run Over by a Truck.  To hear the audio version of Katie and I talking about the same information click here.

Last week I made plans to have dinner with my friend Kim. Dinner and drinks with her are always a power catch up,  and so incredibly fun! Our conversations range from religion, love, work, mediation, our favorite crock pot recipes to where to find the best Bloody Mary’s in the City. The topics always vary, but the tone of the conversation is always the same – complimentary and kind. We’re usually only about half a glass into whatever we’re drinking before I find myself not being able to hold myself back from telling Kim how wonderful I think she is. That’s why when I saw the meeting invite that Kim sent over for our hang I couldn’t help but giggle to myself, it read: “Kim + Katie Compliment Party.”

While at dinner we started to talk to our waitress, asked her questions about her work, about this restaurant about her interests (we are kind of the Katie Couric’s of restaurant diners) as the conversation progressed, she told us she was a little nervous about how her skills in service would transfer into the next phase of her career. Would she be successful in other fields? Would she be behind the 8 ball because she’d been waitressing? Suddenly Kim and I started to talk over each other, telling her all of the ways in which this current job will be a great springboard, and that she doesn’t need to worry, that her people skills are wonderful, and that she will be successful! We just knew it!

To witness the change in the waitresses face, from concerned, to comforted to confident was like watching a flower unfold in bright sunlight.  She was like, “Man, I need more friends like you guys.” We looked at each other and laughed, and I said, “We’re just telling the truth! Also, welcome – you’re now a part of our compliment party.”

In speaking to her I realized that, we all need to have a compliment party with friends every once in a while.  To be surrounded by people who make us feel heard, supported, loved and like we’re the best! I’ve found the most effective way to find friends like that, is to start by being that friend to the people that you love.

It has been challenging to be hopeful these days. There’s a lot of hurt, anger, injustice and pain in the world, and it can feel overwhelming and so, so sad. What I’ve found is that telling a stranger that I love her jacket, or telling my physical therapist that she’s exceptional at her job, and seeing how happy it makes that other person makes gives me hope. Hope that by being intentionally kind to one another, the world can be better – that we can be better.  So, If you can throw a compliment party, invite your best friends, or that girl who takes your order at the bagel place – she’ll be so happy that you did it, and so will you!

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