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Sep 25, 2020

The Second-Hand Compliment

As we’ve pointed out before, there are many positives that continue to happen even during a global pandemic. But remembering these becomes challenging when negativity tends to outpace positivity.

And let’s admit it, embracing and spreading negativity is the easier, more convenient path.

Because of that, it’s important that we get creative in order to tilt the scales in favor of both staying positive and spreading positivity. Leveraging second-hand words is one solution.

The Power of Second-Hand Words

Have you noticed that insults spoken behind your back carry a tremendous amount of weight when you finally hear about them?

It’s the same with compliments.

Positive words spoken about you behind your back tend to be more powerful than those that are spoken to you directly. That’s because they bear the ring of authenticity in a way that direct words might not. When someone compliments you outside of your presence, there’s no question about their motives.

We’re not suggesting that we stop paying people direct compliments, but merely that we supplement these with second-hand ones when we hear them. Here are some examples.

  • “I heard that you were the reason yesterday’s meeting went so well and that you always come prepared to deliver. Great job.”
  • “Someone told me that they couldn’t have closed that sales deal without your participation.”
  • “I heard you worked all weekend to get that important project back on track. Well done.”
  • “They’re saying that no one other than you could have met that aggressive deadline while maintaining such high quality.”
  • “The word is that you’re the right person for this committee because you’re not afraid to make a hard decision if you’re convinced it’s the right one.”
  • “They say that you are equally dedicated to members of your team as you are to members of your own family. Your team is lucky to have you.”

The second-hand compliment can also be used strategically in order to spread positivity.

Spreading Positivity with Second-Hand Compliments

Every year OSV’s customers are talking about us behind our backs, saying positive things about our services publicly on conference panels and privately to other Workday customers. And every month we welcome new customers who made the decision to partner with us after our existing customers told them about our unparalleled choices, our unwavering commitment, and our uncompromising care.

I have the privilege of leading a team that has produced ten new case studies in the last year featuring some of our great customers. My team does an outstanding job of capturing our customers’ compliments about Workday and about OSV’s services for payroll and benefits and finance. Feel free to tell my team I said this (see what I did there?).

I also have the privilege of sharing these case studies with those in operations who are ultimately responsible for the customer’s success. We wouldn’t be able to find so many happy customers if these hard workers didn’t do their jobs faithfully every single day. So after catching our customers saying positive things about those who deliver their services, we pass along those compliments.

Closing Thoughts

Let’s start talking about people behind their backs, saying positive things about them and encouraging others to spread the word. And let’s begin passing along every second-hand compliment that we hear about someone else.

Let’s stay positive, and let’s spread positivity.

Thank you for partnering with us and for placing your trust in OSV. You remain at the center of everything we do.


About OneSource Virtual

OneSource Virtual (OSV) is the Workday partner that has helped more than 1,300 companies with everything from deployment to maintenance to payroll and more—all to make the day more doable. Founded in 2008, OSV pioneered Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) and has become the leading provider of automated solutions for organizations of all sizes using Workday, delivering services with unparalleled choices, unwavering commitment, and uncompromising care. OneSource Virtual’s global headquarters is located in Dallas, Texas, with additional locations across North America and Europe. OneSource Virtual: let’s make the day more doable. Find your company’s solution at www.onesourcevirtual.com.