Can You Take A Compliment?

Can You Take A Compliment?

by Dan Day, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Effective communications skills are an important component to the relationship building that helps your jewelry-making business grow and thrive. You're a good listener and you express yourself clearly and concisely. But here's one skill you may not have considered: can you take a compliment?

Single-Strand Necklace and Earring Set Like many of us, you were probably raised to be modest about your accomplishments, so when someone praised your efforts you might have responded with something like, "It was nothing much," or, "nothing special," or, "I didn't do all that much." However, without being aware of it, a response like that can be a real turn-off to the person who made the effort to praise you. Think about it for a moment: what did it take for that person to recognize your skills and take the time to share their admiration with you? Think about the times you have paid compliments to others. It's one of those things where you get out of it what you put into it. The more compliments you give, the more you'll receive. BUT, that will happen only if you receive them properly. So, how do you take a compliment?

First, use those good listening skills and give the person your full attention. Show with your friendly demeanor that you welcome their comments--good or bad, because at this point, you don't know what you're getting. Look directly at the other person and listen attentively as they sing your praises. When they are finished, pause for a brief second and perhaps smile, this lets the other person see that what they've said is making impact and it gives you a moment to prepare your response. A simple and sincere "thank you" is always a great way to start. And it's certainly better than false modesty that can be so off-putting. We're taking the opportunity to build a relationship here, so let's take this further.

Here's your opportunity to share how you really feel about your accomplishment. For example, "It feels great to finally get this jewelry design finished, and I'm really proud of how it turned out." Here you are very positive, and it's not bragging because those are your feelings about your work. Now you can relate a particularly challenging aspect of your effort, such as trying a new and difficult technique. If, at one point, you felt discouraged or even like quitting, share that, those feelings happen to the most successful people, but the point you are making is that you persevered and that's always inspiring. Now would be a good opportunity to explain why you designed the piece the way you did. Let's say for example, that you used Hill Tribes fine silver. You can share some history of the Hill Tribes artisans. Or if you used a particular gemstone for its metaphysical properties, you can explain why you incorporated that particular stone. This adds even more to the praise you've received. After your initial positive response you can always share some of the credit with a teacher, mentor, a colleague or (and this one can be very effective) your parents and family.

We've talked about the why and what of taking a compliment. Here's the how. Like any skill, it's going to take some preparation and practice. Write out an all-purpose response for a compliment and role-play with a friend, colleague or family member. I've seen a lot of trainees roll their eyes at the prospect of role-playing. But guess what? There is no more effective way to learn how to say the right words. And those right words begin with a simple "thank you."
Multi-Strand Necklace and Earring Set

Additional Resources ...

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Consigning your Products to a Crafter's Market," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Loved this article! I'm new at making jewelry and not sure of the results.Thanks for this information, I now know what to say when I get a compliment."
- Lisa

"This was so helpful! I must re-think my responses. THANK YOU!!"
- Eileen

"Hi, Just a quick note, I thought the article was extremely eye opening! Personally I do not know how to accept a compliment and have a hard time accepting one. This article has opened my eyes to the giver and their feelings too! Thanks for giving me an A HA moment. I appreciate it."
- Lucy

"Hi: Just to say your presentation is good. I am retired, but other people will appreciate your knowledge of the jewelry business. Keep up the good work."
- Gaye

"I am glad you had this article in your newsletter. I have been selling my various hand made items for over 24 years now and I wish I had seen this information when I started. I learned it the hard way over the years, so it is something that needs to be repeated so newcomers can find it. By the way, it works for jewelry, Christmas ornaments, embroidery, even selling classes in the items I created, etc., anything a person makes and tries to sell. I will continue to look for more relevant information in your newsletters in the future."
- Elizabeth

"Your article on can you take a compliment? Really hit home. It made me stop and think of all the times I have been praised and been unable to accept the words being said. I think your advice of taking a moment before speaking allows one to gather ones thoughts and to say the right thing and the start with a simple ''thank you'' is a good ''ice breaker'' for me. Again, thank you for publishing this simple article that can reach out and bridge relationships."
- sincerely, Karen

"This is a really great article. It is SO important to create relationships with your best customers. Being shy about compliments can cut off that very valuable exchange about what you were trying to achieve in your design and what so particularly pleased them about the same design? Particularly when you do custom work for a limited set of customers. It is also important to pay attention to which designs, or which customers do not generate so many compliments and analyze why. Never assume that it is the customer's nature not to compliment. They may be willing to pay for what you deliver, but you may not be getting another sale if they do not feel that you are invested in pleasing them any more than willing to make corrections to better please them. A little thing like a slightly higher lie on a necklace or a slightly closer fit on a bracelet, or even that they are not all that into designs that include crystals, might mean the difference between ongoing sales and a one-time only customer."
- Pat

"I LOVED this resource. What a wonderful idea to help others communicate more thoughtfully. God bless you and thank you!"
- SallyG