Tips To Respond To A Compliment With 100 Examples

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Best Way To Respond To A Compliment

Getting a compliment at work is always a wonderful experience, regardless of your level of expertise. Your reply should be honest and down-to-earth without dismissing these accomplishments. The question is: how? Let me share some excellent tips from my research as a UNI Global Union representative!

6 Common Tips To Reply When Someone Appreciates Your Work

1. Smile

Happy smiling businessman

Smiles are much more than just a common facial expression. Numerous studies have pointed out how they trigger the release of endorphins (feel-good chemicals) that boost everyone’s mood.

Similarly, according to my survey at UNI Global Union, their contagious nature creates a positive feedback loop that benefits both the complimenter and the complimented! A genuine response accompanied by a smile also seems much more believable from my own experience. 

2. Simple Reply

Don’t overthink your answer. A simple but honest “Thank you” is enough to validate the compliment! Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t necessarily shut down the conversation; you can always elaborate on your thoughts or encourage them to ask follow-up questions. 

3. Staying Humble

Sometimes, it would be best to deflect some of the praise, especially if you work in a collaborative culture. To be honest, most accomplishments at work are rarely achieved alone, so people might actually lose some respect for you if you take full credit for the entire project. 

Instead, do yourself a favor and acknowledge others in the response. Humility helps you stay grounded, which, in the long run, would lead to better decision-making and more success in future challenges.

4. Comment About The Project

Discussing any project aspect with someone else (especially the person who notices and acknowledges your work) opens the door for valuable insights! You might learn another angle on your work or discover unexpected strengths even you yourself weren’t aware of. This fruitful feedback loop will fuel your professional growth. 

Plus, it’s one of the best ways to showcase your expertise in a credible and professional way. Once you dig deeper into the challenges overcome or the strategies employed during the process, others will get a glimpse into your excellent competence. There’s no need to brag about it. 

As briefly explained earlier, project success often results from a team effort. 

A brief comment on how others delivered their part shows you recognize the team and value their role in your expanding career path. You will establish yourself as someone always willing to learn from peers, and honestly, who wouldn’t love to recruit such an ambitious yet down-to-earth teammate for their future projects?

5. Do Not Deny The Compliment

Our first instinct when receiving compliments is to downplay them. Yes, I did advise you to stay humble, but that doesn’t mean you should brush your hard-earned achievements aside. You, of all people, should believe in your work and the recognition it deserves.

Also, denying the compliment right away makes it seem like the person’s input doesn’t matter. They might feel unheard of or even assume they have made a mistake, unsure if their words offended you! Just accept their praise to keep the conversation flowing naturally.

6. Do Not Compliment In Return (Unless You Mean It)

This conversation is meant to acknowledge your achievements!

When you return the praise, it takes the spotlight off your work and redirects it to the other person. As a result, the interaction feels less about your success and more about… exchanging polite pleasantries. It would be worse if your compliments weren’t even genuine, as that would take away the gravity of the first comment. 

Of course, there are still some situations where returning the praise is recommended. A brief, specific compliment can be a great way to build rapport if you genuinely admire the other person’s work. 

Or when you’re trying to establish your position in a new working environment, an honest comment will be a good icebreaker: “Thank you! I’m glad you found my presentation helpful. Your insights on [topic] during the Q&A were also very interesting.”

100 Examples Of How To Respond To Compliments

A Compliment

Standard/Humble Responses

If the praise is very strong or unexpected, a modest reply helps you deflect some attention and avoid appearing too arrogant. You can also use this opportunity to acknowledge contributions from other colleagues (which is important if the success is due to a team’s work). 

Examples:

1. Thank you, that’s really kind of you to say.

2. I appreciate the feedback. I’m always learning and growing.

3. It means a lot coming from you.

4. The team did a fantastic job on this. I’m just happy to be a part of it.

5. I had a lot of help with this. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

6. That’s a tough act to follow! Name someone who excels in that area.

7. Thank you! I just try to [a positive quality mentioned]

8. Well, that was lucky! But I appreciate the compliment.

9. You’re too kind! I still have a lot to learn.

10. This project was a lot of fun! I’m glad you like the results.

11. Thanks! I try to stay focused and keep learning.

12. Wow, that’s a high compliment! I’m still working on it, though.

13. I’m glad you think so! I’m passionate about [an area related to the compliment].

14. Thank you! This team is amazing; it makes things easier.

15. I appreciate the kind words. There’s always room for improvement.

16. Thanks! I’m happy to contribute in any way I can.

17. I’m fortunate to have learned from great people.

18. That’s great to hear! I’m always looking for ways to improve.

19. Thank you! It means a lot coming from [someone who has a positive quality]

20. Wow, that’s a thoughtful compliment! Thank you for noticing.

Professional Responses

We recommend this type of response in a professional setting, such as meetings or conferences. Thanking a compliment formally also seems more appropriate in this case if the praise mostly focuses on your industry-related skills or abilities. 

Examples:

21. Thank you. It’s gratifying to know my work is valued.

22. I appreciate your feedback. My goal is always to deliver excellent results.

23. Thank you for your kind words. I’m continuously striving for improvement in this area.

24. I’m pleased to hear that! I’m passionate about [an area related to the compliment and its successful application]

25. Thank you. This team fosters a collaborative environment, which contributes greatly to success.

26. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute. I am always looking for ways to make a positive impact.

27. Thank you for your opinion. I’m always happy to assist in any way that I can.

28. Thank you. My team and I take great pride in the quality of our work.

29. I’m glad you find my work valuable. Continuous learning is always important in our field.

30. Thank you. This project provided a valuable learning experience for me.

31. Your recognition is appreciated. I find this project genuinely stimulating.

32. Thank you for pointing that out. Accuracy is a key priority for us.

33. I am grateful for your genuine compliment. Without a supportive team environment, I could not have accomplished this. 

34. Thank you. The project provided valuable insights and helped me refine my valuable skills.

35. Your appreciation is truly motivating. Thank you for making my day.

36. Thank you. I always respect your judgment.

37. I’m glad you found it informative. I hope sharing knowledge remains an important aspect of our collaboration.

38. Thank you. I will stay committed to achieving our goals. 

39. That’s very kind of you to say. I will try my best to deliver good results.

40. Thank you for recognizing my contribution. It’s a privilege to be part of this excellent team.

Informal Responses

Praise at work doesn’t necessarily involve work-related topics. Someone might tell you your new haircut is great or the suit makes you seem much younger. In that case, a less formal reply is acceptable, even more so if you have a relaxed rapport with the person.

41. No way, thanks! I just got it [item].

42. Aw, thanks! You always know how to make me feel good.

43. You think so? I wasn’t sure about it at first.

44. Thanks! I [action related to compliment].

45. High five for that! I appreciate the compliment.

46. Seriously? Thanks a bunch!

47. That’s awesome to hear! Thanks!

48. You’re the best! Thanks for noticing.

49. No problem! Happy to [action related to compliment].

50. Word? Thanks, that makes my day!

51. Thanks! I like it too.

52. You’re too sweet! Thanks!

53. Haha, thanks! I tried.

54. Thanks! This [item] is my lucky charm.

55. You’re killing it with the compliments today! Thanks.

56. No way! You did great, too!

57. Thanks! This project was a blast.

58. That’s what I’m here for! Always happy to help.

59. No sweat! Thanks for recognizing it.

60. You’re so funny! Thanks, I needed that.

Reply To Boss For Appreciation 

communication in workplace

First, you should thank your boss for taking the time to acknowledge your work. Mention others’ contributions (if the compliment is on a team project), then briefly stress your dedication to your work and the company.

When applicable, a sincere compliment about their leadership or another quality you admire also strengthens the relationship.

Examples:

61. Thank you, [Boss’s name]. That means a lot coming from you. Your guidance has been invaluable on this project.

62. I appreciate you saying that. The team did a fantastic job, and I’m glad we were able to deliver strong results. Your vision for this project meant a lot to our success.

63. Thank you for the kind words. I’m always trying to improve, and I appreciate your support in that.

64. I’m glad you think so. I’m passionate about [areas related to the compliment]. Your wise advice has taught me to focus on my strengths.

65. That’s great to hear, [Boss’s name]! This team is amazing to work with; it makes things easier. Your constant support is also a big part of our success.

66. I appreciate the feedback! I’m always looking for ways to contribute more. Thanks to your open-door policy, I have always been able to come to you with ideas.

67. Thanks, [Boss’s name]! I’m happy to help in any way I can. I have learned a lot under your mentorship.

68. Thank you for saying that. I put a lot of effort into [specific aspects of the work]. Your clear instructions made it even easier to understand the goals of the project.

69. That’s a great compliment, [Boss’s name]! I take pride in my work, and your commitment to high standards also inspires me to do my best.

70. I’m glad you think so. I’m always learning new things in this field, and your expertise has been a valuable resource for me.

71. Thank you. This project taught me many valuable lessons, so I’m glad you like it. I’m fortunate to work in such a supportive environment under your leadership.

72. You always have a good eye for detail, [Boss’s name]. Thanks for pointing that out. I’m committed to delivering high-quality work.

73. Thank you for the kind words. I’m lucky to have learned from great people like you.

74. Thank you so much. This project was a great learning experience, and you made it easy for the team to stay on track.

75. Wow, that’s a nice compliment, [Boss’s name]! Thank you for making my day. Working under your leadership is a privilege.

76. Thank you for recognizing that. I’m always looking for ways to improve and will keep striving for the best.

77. That’s great to hear. I’m dedicated to this company and our goals, and your trust in me is my biggest source of inspiration. 

78. Thanks, [Boss’s name]! I’m happy to contribute to everyone’s success. You and your team make it a rewarding experience.

79. I appreciate your feedback. Your words have always inspired me.

80. Thank you so much. I value your opinion, and your feedback will help me continue to exceed my own expectations.

Reply To Clients

Compliments from the clients themselves reflect the quality of your work and their trust in your service. Let them know you truly appreciate their kind words! Reaffirm your dedication to their success, and, if appropriate, open the door for future projects.

Examples:

81. Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your kind words. It means a lot knowing you’re happy with the results! We’re committed to your ongoing success.

82. That’s fantastic to hear, [Client name]! Thank you for trusting us to help you with this project. We’re always looking for ways to improve and deliver even better results in the future.

83. Your feedback is invaluable. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you. We’re here to support you in any way we can.

84. I’m so glad we were able to exceed your expectations. Thank you for trusting us to help you with this project. We’d love to collaborate again on future campaigns. 

85. Your satisfaction is our top priority. Thank you for the kind words. We’re always happy to discuss your future needs.

86. Thank you for trusting our expertise. We always appreciate your positive feedback! We look forward to another successful partnership with your company.

87. Your trust means a lot to us, so I’m thrilled you’re pleased with the outcome. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions or projects.

88. Thank you for the compliment, [Client name]! We’re determined to exceed your expectations on every project. We hope to have the opportunity to work with you again soon.

89. We’re so grateful for your positive feedback! Our team couldn’t have accomplished it without your trust. We promise to continue supporting you in achieving your goals.

90. That’s wonderful to hear. I’m grateful for your kind words and trust.

91. Your satisfaction is our reward. We value your business.

92. This positive feedback motivates us. We’re so glad we could be of service, and we wish you continued success in your endeavors.

93. Hearing such positive feedback inspires us to keep doing our best, [Client name]! Thank you so much for choosing us.

94. Your kind words are truly appreciated, [Client name]! Thank you for choosing us.

95. We’re happy we could contribute to your success, [Client name]! Thank you for the compliment.

96. Thank you so much. We strive to deliver exceptional service for every client like you, [Client name]!

97. Thank you for the amazing reviews. We’re always looking for ways to improve and better serve our clients.

98. It’s a pleasure working with satisfied clients like you. Thank you for these very kind words.

99. Your comment means a lot to us. We have always tried our best to meet and exceed your expectations. 

100. That’s fantastic news! We poured our hearts into this project, and hearing you’re happy makes it all worthwhile. Thank you for trusting us. We’d be thrilled to collaborate again with you in the future.

What To Say When Someone Compliments You Inappropriately

staff discussing project

Give Them The “Face”

A verbal response isn’t always necessary. Strategic use of non-verbal cues can effectively communicate your discomfort! For example, a raised eyebrow (paired with a slightly furrowed brow) expresses your confusion without being confrontational. 

Some people give a small, closed-mouth smile without meeting the person’s gaze; this shows they acknowledge the praise but avoid appearing receptive. Others furrow their brows and purse their lips to indicate they’re uncomfortable with the compliments. From my research, such expression is best used for extremely serious offenses where a clear message needs to be sent. 

Combining non-verbal cues with body language is a great idea, too. Crossing your arms or turning your body slightly away creates a physical barrier to discourage further advances. You may also steeple your fingers, which often conveys a sense of seriousness when accompanied by a neutral facial expression. 

Ignore Them

A wise man used to say: The most powerful response is no response at all. 

Remember that inappropriate comments often target your reaction; they might test your boundaries, seek your attention, or simply hope for a playful or flirtatious exchange. Ignoring them completely sends a clear message that their comment is unwelcome and will not be entertained.

I know many of you want to respond to the comment, but it isn’t always the best idea. Even when you reply just to shut them down, the angry, flustered back-and-forth exchange will draw unnecessary attention – which might damage your professional image at the workplace. 

And sometimes, ignoring is the best solution for both parties since not all inappropriate jokes are ill-intended. For example, when a new colleague makes an awkward compliment about your work, you can pretend it never happened to give them a chance to adjust to workplace norms. You are actually doing them a favor!

Change The Topic

A topic change steers the conversation from the unwelcome comment. You will regain control while still maintaining a professional demeanor! Otherwise, engaging in a public debate about whether or not the comment is appropriate can make the situation seem quite comical in the eyes of outsiders. 

Most importantly, this approach sets a boundary that such compliments are not acceptable. Of course, it’s much less aggressive than a direct response, but it still sends a clear message.

Some of my suggestions on effective changes of topic: 

  • Briefly acknowledge them as a basic courtesy (e.g., “Thank you,“) but don’t elaborate on the compliment. 
  • Direct the conversation towards a work-related topic. “Thank you. Speaking of [project], have you seen the latest update on [an aspect]?”
  • Maintain eye contact and a professional tone of voice throughout the conversation shift. 

Conclusion

I’ve explained how to reply to compliments – even some less appropriate ones. Be humble and grateful, but also acknowledge your own hard work; you deserve to be proud of it after all you have been through! 

Feel free to contact me if you need more advice on perfect responses to compliments.


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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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