“You look great today!” “Love your outfit!” “Have you lost weight?”
We’ve all heard comments like this in the office and in the courtroom. Even if you’re well-intentioned, giving compliments like this may not be okay. Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t comment on someone’s appearance in a professional setting.
- The person may view it as disrespectful and maybe even harassment. The degree of respect you have for them should not be based on their appearance – it should be based upon their professional competency.
- You can hurt someone’s feelings or make them feel uncomfortable. For example, someone’s weight loss could be unintentional due to illness or some other negative event happening in their life.
- When a 3rd party hears you commenting on someone else’s appearance, they will get the wrong idea about what you value in a colleague.
Limit your compliments to the quality of someone’s work. Workplace relationships are not based on how much someone weighs or how they dress. It doesn’t matter what your intentions are – bad things can happen when you comment on someone’s physical appearance.