When providing positive feedback to anyone whether it be employees downwardly, co-workers laterally, management upwardly, or children in your personal life, it should be specific, immediate, and concerning something under their direct control. Vague and delayed feedback like, “You did a good job!” delivered at the end of business cycle or end of a sporting event is not that valuable or motivating since it is received as insincere as if the feedback provider is only saying so because he feels obligated to provide positive feedback. It also does not direct the receiver specifically what to do more of in an effort to receive more positive feedback. Rewarding people for things that are more innate traits out of their direct control is also not that valuable. Saying things like you are so pretty/handsome or smart is much less valuable than rewarding someone’s effort. It is much more beneficially to say something like, “I’m impressed that you took the extra time to figure that out!” or “I can tell that you worked really hard on that project and it paid off”. If you are going to provide positive feedback and encouraging verbal rewards, you should make sure you are doing it properly and sincerely and not just so you can check it off your do to list. If you don’t provide people positive feedback and see the need for it, you need to seriously check yourself! Some of the biggest downers in the world feel that providing people positive feedback is inefficient and unnecessary, rationalizing that they would rather spend time focused solely on what is wrong and can be fixed or improve upon. Try to avoid these people. They are black holes of energy and will zap the energy right out of you.