Adapted from “The Benefits of Saying Nice Things About Your Colleagues,” by Jane E. Dutton and Julia Lee
Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly given small opportunities to build up or put down our coworkers. If we’re introducing two colleagues, telling a story about how a meeting went, or sharing a colleague’s project, how we talk about others can make a big difference in how they feel about themselves and their work. So take advantage of these opportunities to speak positively about your coworkers. When introducing people, share details that highlight how the person is interesting, and describe them as someone others would want to know. When you bring together a new team, tell stories about each person’s potential contributions to the group. If you witness someone being interrupted or silenced, build them up by reiterating their point or asking them a question that gives them the opportunity to speak. Stay aware of these moments and make the best use of them. You’re likely to get compliments in return.