Give honest, sincere appreciation.
This tip comes from Dale Carnegie´s, How to Win Friends and Influence People from a section called, The Big Secret of Dealing with People. Here´s how he distinguishes appreciation from flattery:
When we are not engaged in thinking about some definite problem, we usually spend about 95 percent of our time thinking about ourselves. Now, if we stop thinking about ourselves for a while and begin to think of the other person´s good points, we don´t have to resort to flattery so cheap and false that it can be spotted almost before it is out of the mouth."??
Well, there´s nothing unclear or indirect about that advice from Carnegie, is there!
This is a great tip for everyone, but particularly important for managers and leaders, who rely on the strengths of their relationships to get things done.