Roger Fisher of Getting to Yes fame on has a book called Getting things done when you’re not in charge looks like a good idea if you have time to read it. If you don’t then read this summary on the three kinds of feedback (appreciation, advice, evaluation) and when to give each.
Most interesting element to me is that evaluation overpowers advice (I pass or fail or excel, and I don’t listen for the advice that comes with it). So evaluating someone (giving performance feedback that’s evaluative) is not a learning tool. It may be how your company structures their remuneration and promotions, but giving an evaluation is NOT the same as giving performance feedback.
For another take on the worst kind of praise you can give click here.
And try this for a bonus: 50 best words of appreciation.