Creating a Compliment Culture

April 8, 2009 by

I was inspired to write this blog post after an enlightening conversation with Bernie Muir, co-editor of FeminineZone about how important – and often scarce – compliments are amongst families, especially during stressful times.

It’s a tough time in households with kids of 13-18 at the moment, Bernie told me. “A lot of parents are very vocal when [children] do something wrong, but not as vocal if they do something right,” she said. It is “also important to teach your kids to make compliments.” This is an important observation from a woman who has spent the past 9 years editing an online magazine dedicated to discussing the ‘real’ issues of what is going on between men and women, especially as they age.

Bernie’s view on the importance of compliments: “If you’ve got teenagers who are full of hormones and awash with self esteem…often what you do is tell them off…parents should find a way to compliment the youngsters especially during exam season and mock season. Add to that, it is likely that the parents are losing their jobs or have retained their jobs but are doing more…so the likelihood of having at the top of your mind to give out compliments is not there.” Additionally, they are probably not getting the recognition they need at work, making the importance of receiving compliments at home even more acute. So it seems that creating a compliment culture needs to begin at home.

She also told me a bit about the differences in complimenting behaviour and needs for men vs. women. “Men need appreciation for the things they do. It’s anthropological. A woman doesn’t need praise every time she fills the dishwasher, but a man does,” Bernie said. “He is doing something useful and wants to be noticed for it. Women need praise in different areas…such as kind gestures.” Because men and women need different types of compliments, one or the other may always be falling short Bernie told me.

“It’s one of the biggest bugbears of most relationships,” Bernie says, “because people don’t say things that relate to what the other partner needs. With so much negative stuff in the air – there’s no hope of it happening.”

This is why the idea behind ilikeucoz is so powerful and yet so simple. “You could be the only site thinking about this!” Bernie told me. Well, we hope that as word gets out about our appreciation engine, ilikeucoz, it will catch on and create a compliment culture just when we need it the most. And its half term, so why not take a pause and compliment the important people in your life – especially your children and your partner.

Author:  Diane Perlman (twitter | ilikeucoz)

The power of a positive Post-it

April 3, 2009 by

I never felt the urge to write a post like this morning when I read this article Gianluca pointed out to me and the rest of the ILUC team. And my way to thank him is here – warning: shameless promotion 🙂

So, why did I get so excited? Because it sounds like that article was written by one of us – one of the great guys joining me in this project – as it speaks precisely about things we’re working on at ILUC.

From the article:

Frode Heimen discovered the power of a Post-it pat on the back when he decided to write a short personal note to each of his employees, beginning with the words “I appreciate you because…” [note: sounds familiar, doesn’t it?]

“I thought this was a fun thing to do at the office and I hoped it would make them smile for a while. This evening I was walking around at the office and noticed that several notes were hanging at their partition wall. And I started to realize that this really meant a lot for some of them.”

Well, to me that sounds exactly like the kind of feelings and spontaneous expressions that ILUC is putting on the table and is trying to foster in our society. There’s a long way to go but we’re excited about the journey.

Through the BNet site I discovered another article, as juicy as the first (in spite of the abysmal ads displayed on the page) and the overview really caught my eye:

Don’t ever underestimate the power of positive feedback. We are quick to point out to someone when they make a mistake. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge them when they do something right. Giving positive feedback can be a powerful tool for employee motivation.

Wow! This is one the most important pillars on which the whole ILUC project is based and it’s always encouraging to read articles addressing this topic.

Last week I gave a presentation of ILUC and one of the points about why it’s unique was: “the web is rife with places to have a rant or give negative feedback – ilikeucoz puts positivity in the spotlight”. Now, could anyone possibly argue with this? I guess not.

Last but not least, this morning I was reading Michael Arrington’s post about Twitter’s possible acquisition by Google (link) and one of the reasons for Twitter to be so interesting caught my eye again:

More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it, whether to respond individually (The W Hotel pestered me until I told them to just leave me alone), or simply gather the information to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.

In full honesty, I’m quite glad to see that Twitter isn’t only used to give negative feedback to brands, products, services, etc. but users often express positive feelings and feedback about these things. I’m glad because it’s so much easier to give negative feedback and Twitter could be vulnerable to this kind of behaviour because when you can write whatever you want and lots of people – depending on the cases – will get to see it… well, what a perfect occasion for a fool to show their foolishness! So let’s hope that the fools won’t stick around longer and that some more positivity of sentiments will spread among the web and our society overall. Like we say at ILUC, today, more than ever, everyone needs a bit of a boost. So go on, make someone’s day! ILUC is a good place to start doing it! 🙂

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ilikeucoz takes it to the streets…

March 19, 2009 by

Yesterday a bunch of scary people were spotted around Covent Garden all geared up and ready to shoot.

Surprisingly the reaction of the crowd was only partially fear or fright, in fact most of them were smiling and laughing while being shot.

Let us show you the faces of these daring people… as Diane and I asked them: “why do you like the person you are with?”

Courtesy of tikichris

ilikeucoz vox pop: smiling people - Courtesy of tikichris

After a few initial hiccups the ilikeucoz crew got into the game and shot as many people as possible while having lots of fun. Apparently the victims felt the same way and thanks to the fantastic weather (this is not a joke!) the whole shooting/vox pop experience has been a blast.

Click here to view the full slideshow. Or take a sneak peak down here…

Courtesy of tikichris

ilikeucoz vox pop: enamoured couple - Courtesy of tikichris

Courtesy of tikichris

ilikeucoz vox pop: girl friends - Courtesy of tikichris

Courtesy of tikichris

ilikeucoz vox pop: Laurel the "shooter" - Courtesy of tikichris

Courtesy of tikichris

ilikeucoz vox pop: sweet Spanish mom and son - Courtesy of tikichris

Courtesy of tikichris

ilikeucoz vox pop: shameless promotion 🙂 - Courtesy of tikichris

A very special thank you goes to Laurel Parker (MobleyStreet.com) for shooting our video and to Chris Osburn (tikichris) for our great still photography. A massive thanks also goes to Tobias Tobbel of Anthillmedia who kindly edited the video (stay tuned to watch it…). These amazing guys helped us because they like our idea and wanted to help us spreading the love. Guess what, we like them coz they did it! 🙂

Cheerio

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Can you take a compliment?

March 16, 2009 by

I’ve been reading up on giving and receiving compliments and have been learning some interesting things. Ok – so it’s understandable that giving AND receiving compliments are both closely connected with one’s self esteem.  I get that.  But what I didn’t realise is that for many people, especially women, accepting compliments is very difficult. One article in Loveyish.com which garnered 80 comments from women who all said they had trouble accepting compliments, suggested that people don’t like getting compliments because of two reasons: insecurity (they don’t believe it’s true) and insincerity (they don’t believe the compliment is genuine).

Clearly compliments – giving and receiving them – is totally intertwined with how we view ourselves. According to an article in WildHealthFood.com, how we receive a compliment can tell us a lot about our self worth.  In fact we actually gain more benefits by graciously receiving a compliment rather than rejecting or refusing it. Apparently the most successful people receive compliments more gracefully than others, which stands to reason – if your successful, you know you must be good at what you do.

Experts advise that when you receive a compliment, the best response is ‘Thank you’, rather than rejecting a compliment or questioning it.  For some people it takes years to be able to say these two simple words, because of self doubt and disbelief. But there’s no getting around it, when we receive a compliment it feels good. And feeling good promotes good health and strengthens self esteem. What could be better? It seem so simple really.

So the next time you get a compliment – in person or via ilikeucoz.com, take note of how it feels. And just say  ‘thank you’.  If you like it, why not return the favour and make someone else’s day?

Author:  Diane Perlman (twitter | ilikeucoz)

Our compliments to… compliments!

March 6, 2009 by

We knew we were onto something interesting here at illikeucoz – the importance of compliments (especially for women) was in fact recently highlighted by The Sun in an article about a study released by Dove UK in early February ’09, just about the time that ilikeucoz launched.

Dove says that some 15% of women NEVER receive a compliment and a further 19% rarely ever do – from friends, family, strangers… or even their partners. A bit shocking really!

Dove’s study goes on to say that while most of the few comments women DO receive are positive and complimentary, there is a darker side to the story, related to passing judgement on women’s appearance. In fact 6% of women only hear negative comments rather than positive ones from their mums (oh dear…). And since 92% of women admit they take comments they receive to heart, the impact such negative comments can have on women’s self-esteem is significant. Apparently, women have a deep seated need for affirmation, and the things that other people say has a huge impact on how women think and feel about themselves.

The Sun article goes on to quote a confidence coach – Dawn Breslin, who says, “Compliments are little gift packages of love and appreciation that help us build our self esteem and self confidence.”

What do you think girls… is this all true? If so – what is everyone waiting for? Get complimenting on ilikeucoz.com… and in general! And with mum’s day coming up later this month in the UK… why not show our mum’s how it’s done?

To read the full article on Dove’s findings, click here.

 

Author: Diane Perlman (twitter | ilikeucoz)

Among all the gloom, we think it’s about time to spread a little happiness…

February 23, 2009 by

…so we love the new website ilikeucoz.com, designed to do just that.

Known as an ‘appreciation engine’, this free site allows you to make someone’s day by sharing what you like about them and what makes them special.

This is what the Daily Mail says about ilikeucoz in this article. Short, concise and spot on!

New logo and design

February 18, 2009 by

Please excuse my bluntness but I’m totally in love with our new logo and site design.

ilikeucoz logo

ilikeucoz logo

It needs a few fixes here and there but it’s almost final now.

Also, we created a facebook group for ilikeucoz and you’re all invited to join!

Passion on paper given new life on the web to make compliments flow

February 13, 2009 by

Today marks the launch of the world’s first ‘appreciation engine’ – ilikeucoz, a free web service that prompts you to make someone’s day by sharing with them what you like about them. With a quick visit to ilikeucoz.com you can easily, immediately and directly let someone know why they are special. In just a couple of clicks you can join people from all over the world in posting their spontaneous compliments and get inspiration for your message from the Cozmos, a public time line of what people write to the people they like.

The inspiration for ilikeucoz came to founder Fabio De Bernardi when his girlfriend asked, ‘Why do you love me?’ Floundering for the single perfect answer, he decided that for one month, he and his girlfriend would write down something they like about each other every day, ultimately revealing the true essence of their love. And thus the idea for ilikeucoz was born.

“Compliments are free, easy to give and great to receive.” De Bernardi said. “We built ilikeucoz to make it simple to spread the feel-good factor that being appreciated brings. Everyone needs a bit of a boost, so tell someone ‘ilikeyoucoz…’ today.”

To mark its launch, ilikeucoz is introducing the ilikeucoz Valentine’s Challenge, which asks people to send 14 compliments to those they like in their life in honour of the14th February. The reward: the gratitude of the lucky recipient and the hope of receiving some back. The ilikeucoz Valentines Challenge is open to everyone and people can start complimenting today at: http://ilikeucoz.com.

About ilikeucoz:
ilikeucoz is the world’s first ‘appreciation engine’, dedicated to bringing the feel-good factor back.

The service is the ‘love child’ of entrepreneur Fabio De Bernardi who introduced his idea for the new web application at Launch48, an innovative event held in London and aimed at collaboratively creating and launching new web businesses in 48 hours. During the weekend of 7-8th February 2009, ilikeucoz went from idea to its current beta form where it is ready to share compliments from a mutually adoring public.

Visit http://ilikeucoz.com to send spontaneous compliments to a friend, family member or that special someone and make their day.  If you are stuck for inspiration, or just plain nosey, you can peer into the Cozmos, a live public time line of what people write to the people they like.

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For more information contact:
Fabio De Bernardi – fabio@ilikeucoz.com | twitter: @fabiodebe
Diane Perlman – diane@ilikeucoz.com | twitter: @brandingmatters

Follow ilikeucoz on Twitter: @ilikeucoz
Real time stream on Twitter: @likeucozmos

Day 2 at Launch48

February 9, 2009 by

[this post appeared yesterday on the Launch.48 site – here]

ilikeucoz_logo-v6_smallIt’s day 2 at Launch48 and i like u coz is gathering steam.

Here’s the new and improved pitch:

When was the last time you received a genuine, heartfelt compliment? Remember the feeling?
Yeah –it was good, wasn’t it? So what are you waiting for? Bring the feel-good factor back.
By the end of today, you can visit www.ilikeucoz.com and tell someone why you like them.

i like u coz is the world’s first appreciation engine.
It’s simple. It’s spontaneous. Go on… make someone’s day.

Today, i like u coz is about people…telling others why they like them. Especially in these tough economic times, everyone needs a little boost. i like u coz is an easy, immediate and direct way to spread the love and make someone’s day.

What are our future plans? Once the good vibes start spreading across the web, we plan to branch out from people …to things and places as well. So people can talk about the products use and the places they go in a fun, spontaneous way.

Why are we different?

  • It’s not about you (for a change)—it’s about the people you like.
  • It’s personal—direct to the people you like in your life.

What’s in it for you?

  • You can feel better about yourself by complimenting others.
  • You can feel great about the compliments you get.

And – if you don’t know what to write – you will be able to check out our live feed of posts in the ‘cozmos’ and get inspired.

I like u coz… you can get a start up off the ground in just 48 hours!

February 8, 2009 by

From Launch48 website:

I like u coz… you read my blog post

Have you ever wanted to tell someone you liked them because they did something great for you, are good fun to be around or bought you a favourite book, but just didn’t know where to say it?

I like u coz empowers you to do just that. As the world’s first “appreciation engine”, it’s a positive, fun and social web site that allows you to tell someone you like them and give the reason why – easily, immediately and directly. We’re bringing the feel-good factor back.

The idea is the brain-child of Fabio, who’s girlfriend asked him a few months ago – why do you love me? Completely perplexed by this question (as everyone is!), Fabio set about to write down reasons for ‘I like u coz’ whenever he thought about it over a month. But he knew there had to be a better way.

The team is a smaller group than most, with an even spread of business, developers and marketing. Design is currently being outsourced to a very ‘charitable’ group – thanks guys! We’re hard at work developing the idea and often find ourselves looking beyond this weekend at all the possibilities, and then bring ourselves back to reality with only 27 hours left to launch the site.

-Liza and the ilikeucoz team

Original post here

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