‘Talent Instantly Recognizes Genius’
When an average thinker suggests that you’re exceedingly bright, you view the comment as a compliment and take it in stride. But when someone you believe is exceptionally smart suggests you are highly intelligent, the comment lingers and bolsters your self-esteem for hours, even days. Similarly, when someone creative tells you how innovative you are, or when someone physically strong comments on how powerful you have become, those words mean more. We believe them because they come from a place of excellence. In the words of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” We most relish praise that mirrors the excellence we see in others. This is what happens when leaders offer compliments or praise to others about strengths the leader is known for themselves.
Leaders can have a profound effect on others when they offer praise related to their own best qualities and strengths. Ask yourself — what do others think are my strongest qualities? Now, do everyone a favor and offer more praise to others on this very quality when you feel it is justified.
We hold leaders in high regard for what they can do and for who they are. The skills and talents leaders possess are keenly observed and understood by others. When leaders offer a compliment about their own strengths as they see those qualities in others, the words stand in relief and often have an unseen and profound impact. So easy to do. What are you waiting for?