• Tara O'Brien

The Power of Compliments on School Culture



Compliments are a beautiful thing. They're also a tricky thing to do right. So today we're going to explore the power of compliments, how you should compliment and when you should give them (and why).

Why do you Compliment?

  • Teachers are self-reflective, easily recognize their weaknesses, but sometimes do not notice or build on their strengths. In fact, teachers often forget to complement themselves when they need it most!

  • Compliments build relationships and boost self-efficacy—which results in greater effectiveness and better student outcomes. This can only happen if we have a culture of support and encouragement at school where everyone feels supported by one another. When teachers begin to notice their own strengths as well as those of the students around them (and vice versa), then there will be no end!

How do you Compliment?

You can compliment someone's work in a variety of ways.

  • Ask for a compliment on your work, "Hey, what did you like about _____?"

  • Make sure to consider your compliment carefully, so that it is genuine, “Hey, I liked the way you organized our meeting last week! It was so easy to follow along and I got what I needed out of it.”

  • Return the favor: “Thanks so much for your feedback on my presentation today. I appreciate the conversation about assessment we had during the meeting."

  • Be specific: "That slide about "thinking skills" really helped my to understand your talking points."

Compliments can Impact your School Culture

Compliments are a powerful tool for building a culture of support and trust. When you’re complimenting someone, it helps them feel seen, valued and appreciated by the people around them. This can lead to increased self-efficacy, which is an essential part of building an inclusive school environment where everyone feels safe and accepted.

Compliments also help transform schools because they create a positive feedback loop between teachers and students: when kids feel that their teachers value them for who they are as people (rather than just for what they do), this leads to better learning outcomes across all subjects!

Concluding Thoughts

If you’re looking for ways to improve your culture, compliments can be a great place to start. They can help set up positive interactions between coworkers and increase their feelings of belonging. And they don’t have to cost you anything—just make sure they come from a genuine place, in the spirit of helping others rather than only yourself!

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