Using Compliments in Positive Education
By Kathryn Netherwood, School Coordinator
Positive Education has been at the forefront of the Lance Holt School’s values and educational approach. We are focussed on fostering a positive school culture, with strong social and emotional learning programs and practices. Positive Education fosters positive emotions and relationships in order to strengthen overall wellbeing.
By combining the principles of positive psychology with best-practice teaching, Positive Education fosters both traditional academic skills and skills for happiness and wellbeing. Research has shown that high levels of student wellbeing lead to better academic performance.
Positive Education could also be thought of as a ‘wellbeing curriculum’ that can explicitly teach skills to students to build positive emotions and use their character strengths. Giving and receiving compliments is one such skill which can be explicitly taught.
Compliments are one of the most ordinary yet extraordinary ways of creating a positive emotion. Focusing on and noticing the good qualities or acts in the world around gives us a boost. Compliments amplify positivity not only delivering positive effects to others but also to the person giving the compliment.
Compliments are powerful little gifts but only work if they are sincere reflections of what we think and if they are given freely. The art of the compliment (giving and receiving) is a powerful social skill to learn and you don’t need to be an expert to do it well, you just need to be genuine.
Compliments foster an atmosphere of positivity, enhancing social connections and communication.