Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Opinion Editorials

Compliments you should stop using at work (even if you mean well)

Why do we need to compliment each other at work on our looks? I would much rather hear that I did a good job on a project than you like my hair today.

team startup coworking employees

Let’s focus on what we’re here to do

Our society is focused on how people look. You can’t turn a page in a magazine or watch a movie or tv show without getting at least one advertisement for beauty products. Everyone wants to look nice, but should you notice this at work?

“You look nice today.”

I know that when someone says this to me, they are trying to be nice. No question, we all want to hear that we look good, but this compliment always makes me cringe. Like, what? I didn’t look good yesterday? What about the day before?


What’s the solution?

I think there are a couple of ways you can make this compliment better. I would say a better idea would be to compliment specifically. “That outfit looks great on you.” “I love the way you did your hair today.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

And for the record, I wouldn’t recommend these unless you have that kind of relationship.

I know we’re supposed to be gender neutral, but I think that opposite gender compliments could go wrong very quickly.

Why do we need to compliment each other at work on our looks? I would much rather hear that I did a good job on a project than you like my hair today.

I want to know how much my input is valued and appreciated, not my looks.

Tell me how my presentation inspired you or how I affected you. Acknowledge my efforts and skills, not my appearance.

Regardless of gender, show appreciation for their work first

Quite frankly, sexual harassment is no longer simply about opposite sexes, either. Focusing on how someone appears and commenting on it, no matter which sex is on the receiving end, could be misconstrued. Why take the chance someone misinterprets your compliment?

Before you open your mouth at work, think twice. You may mean to be nice and complimentary, but it might not sound like that to the person you’re speaking to in the business environment. Save your compliments for your friends. Show appreciation to your colleagues for their contribution.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.


Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.




Tech News

In a virtual world with no limits, money is pouring into the Metaverse fashion industry with no end in sight.

Opinion Editorials

(EDITORIAL) We understand diversity helps and strengthens our companies, and individual teams. But how can you be an ally to the talented women already...

Opinion Editorials

(OPINION) A new study about gender in the workplace is being perceived differently than we are viewing it - let's discuss.

Business Marketing

(MARKETING) Dolce & Gabbana stepped in it, and are apologizing, but many aren't in the mood to accept their words.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.