Tinkerer

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Don't Say Nice Things About People

Have you ever noticed that people are much more likely to talk about someone when they’re not in the room?

I often overhear people talk about how “We’re really lucky to have hired Bob” or how “Alice is a spreadsheet wizard” - but it’s always while the person isn’t actually in the room.
I get the impression that the person that is being praised never actually hears the praise!

I think the experience that really underlined this for me was at a company dinner where someone had to leave early.
He was a new hire at the time and right after he left, everyone started talking about “what a great guy he is” and how “we’re lucky to have him.”
I’m still not sure anyone ever told him the heights of praise we gave him that day.

I’m not sure why something like this happens. Perhaps it’s human nature or perhaps it’s just because some Danes are notoriously stingy with compliments.

Either way I think we should normalize saying nice things to people, rather than just saying nice things about people. Or if you do decide to praise them behind their back, at least shoot them a message and let them know.

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