There is always a learn, something could always have been done differently, producing different results and/or reaching a larger/different audience on the way as a result. It is these learns that should I believe form part of the praise and the feedback we give to colleagues, friends and family members.
Praising something is always a great thing to do, it helps them to take a pride in their role, whatever that is, to grow in confidence and in themselves, sprinkle it with from the heart recommendations delivered in an empathetic manner and it can do so much more. We should never be 'critical' of, or 'criticise' others in a mean spirited or destructive manner, that is not being helpful, the reverse in fact.
So as we accelerate, head long, into the 'Season of Goodwill' remember to serve up a balanced portion of praise, constructive suggestions and thanks to your team, contacts and colleagues. In this way you can be surer to start 2014 in a positive manner and with all pulling in the same direction.
A slightly shorter Blog than some, however I hope it adds some value to you and please do leave a message or comment - I do read them all and respond when I can.