How to Compliment a Co-Worker

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When you work closely with others on a daily basis, it's easy to take a co-worker's efforts for granted. Even though you may take note of her good deeds or impressive accomplishments, she won't know how you feel unless you take a moment to give her a compliment. As long as your feelings are sincere, delivering a compliment is an easy and effective way to boost a co-worker's spirits and form a professional bond of respect and goodwill.

Take note of things that your co-worker has said or done that deserve a compliment. For example, your co-worker might have finished her part of the team project early and used her free time to assist you in finishing on time, or a co-worker might consistently perform courteous actions such as opening doors for others or picking up fallen items from the floor.

Choose an appropriate moment to deliver the compliment when your co-worker isn't distracted, such as when you drop by her workspace to chat or over lunch. This gives your co-worker the chance to receive your compliment and respond appropriately.

Give your co-worker the compliment. For example, say "You made my day when you helped me wrap up my part of the team project. Thank you for volunteering your time." Use verbal and nonverbal expression, such as combining your kind words with a smile to demonstrate sincerity.

Keep silent after giving the compliment. Allow your co-worker to respond to your message. If your co-worker seems surprised or embarrassed, change the subject to put her at ease.


  • Keep your compliment brief and to the point. A long-winded compliment can lose its impact.

    Increase your awareness of your co-workers' accomplishments and good deeds through consistent observation.

    Remember that compliments encourage people to repeat the behavior.


  • Be cautious when complimenting a co-worker on personal appearance -- especially someone of the opposite gender -- because the compliment could be interpreted as sexual harassment.