Flattery – Harmless fun or a cultural problem?

Flattery will get you everywhere the old saying goes, but is that really the case?

In this ever litigious world in which we, where does the line exist between complimenting someone and that compliment becoming a problem.

In Sales, it is an old trick to massage the customer’s ego to close the deal. Making someone feel good about themselves, linking it to your product and service. Heck, the entire beauty industry is based on the premise of ‘buy our products and other people will like you‘.

In service industries such as restaurants or taxis, flattery often makes the difference between a tip to top up low wages or no tip at all. Whilst the tipping culture is strong within the USA, there is no obligation in the UK to tip. This may account for the friendly server of an American restaurant coming across as being over-enthusiastic to UK tourists who may just see what passes for good service as being manipulative flattery.

What about in the corporate office environment though? How appropriate is flattery there? Sooner or later if you use flattery in a professional environment someone will see the opportunity for a fast buck and try and describe it as harassment or objectification.

Frightened of this risk and the harm it can do your career, I think many people just simply back away from it altogether. Which is a shame really. The world could be a so much better place with a smile and a sincerely delivered compliment throughout the work day.

Knowing where to define the line is beyond the reach of a short blog post as I am sure we all have different points of view of where that line should be.



3 thoughts on “Flattery – Harmless fun or a cultural problem?

  1. I honestly don’t like flattery for the purpose of closing deals or letting the other person feel good by telling a lie. 🙂 Choosing something true then using it to have a conversation with the other person is better. 🙂


  2. Heck, the entire beauty industry is based on the premise of ‘buy our products and other people will like you..

    This is something i totally feel all the time.. selling a false image to the people..

    Heyyy that was an interesting take..

    P.S. Go thru my latest blogpost and gimme your inputs as its a diff topic I delved into after a long time..


Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s