When it comes to communicating about someone's successes and failures, giving undue praise can be a great example of misguided altruism. If you are a parent or in a leadership position, here are a few takeaways from the book Mindset about giving the right kinds of praise:
1) If you want to give someone a gift, the best thing you can do is to teach them to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. This way they won't be a slave to false praise.
2) Never praise someone for their intelligence or talent. Praise them for their effort and commitment.
3) If you only praise the result, it discourages risk-taking because the individual fears they may not achieve the result. When you praise for effort instead of the result, it lets them know it's okay to try hard and fail. This conditions the individual to take a risk even when there is the chance of failure.
Every word and action can send a message. When communicating with people, make sure your message is growth-oriented. It lets the person know that you truly care about their development.