Jay S. Daughtry, ChatterBachs
Jack, I'm not sure if you're asking for life lessons from those giving the recommendations or those who are asking for them... I think it's best to speak from the vantage point of what you've witnessed first-hand, not from others' reports. It's also best not to speak in superlatives (best, worst, most, etc.) unless that's what you really mean. Think more literally in terms of the way your comments are being translated/interpreted. Have you spoken these things (positive or negative) to the person being asked about? I'm not sure you should say anything to a third party that you haven't said directly to the person. If it's positive, why haven't you taken the time to give this encouragement and reinforcement? If it's negative, why haven't you taken the time to provide constructive feedback and guidance?