When we deal with our co-workers, we are often looking for way to compliment them. When searching for that perfect word to use, stay clear of the word tedious

I don’t mean just avoid using it as a way to describe a person, which is something you should never do.

Wow, I am impressed with how tedious you are!

You should also avoid using it when describing what they do.

Kudos to you!  I could never put up with all that tedious work you do every day.

Now, I know what you are thinking.  This is a huge compliment.  This person has the patience of a sphinx to deal with all the things they do.  I could never put up with that level of tedium.

While this might be true, think about what you are saying before you speak.  What you find tedious, might be interesting and rewarding work to another person.  Now instead of feeling great about the work they are doing, they are now thinking how boring you thinks their job is.

Compliment wasted.

While I am sure this will not be a detriment to their future work, it will certainly cut into their willingness to share with you in the future.

This post was written because of a story told to me by a friend. This person had used their decades of accumulated talent to skillfully help clients transfer platforms, while maintaining a good relationship with them.

Then when they shared that information with their boss, they were complimented in a department wide meeting and told they were amazing for being able to do all this tedious work.

As someone who has worked with clients often over the years, I would never describe that work as tedious.  Magical, valuable and amazing come to mind, but not tedious

Most people who enjoy their work, might not think about it.  But if you are trying to give someone a compliment, make it clear.  Don’t make it about you.  Don’t filter their accomplishments through the lens of your capabilities.   Be clear with the person and tell them specifically why what they did was fantastic and valuable.

Be careful with your compliments.  You want them to be meaningful, so don’t ruin them by self-centeredness and poor word selection.