Consistency does not mean behaving the same way all the time. It actually means behaving the same way under similar circumstances. I believe in praising people, but I also know that if you praise them when they are performing well and also when they are performing poorly, you are sending them an inconsistent message. Good performance should always be treated differently than poor performance.
Many leaders make the mistake of letting their mood determine how they respond to their people. If they’re feeling great, they wander around praising everyone. If they’re feeling lousy, they wander around pointing out what everyone is doing wrong.
When you respond to your people in the same way under similar circumstances, you give them a valuable gift-the gift of predictability. There are many ways to inspire good performance but what maintains and improves it is responding consistently.
From “The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence”
By Ken Blanchard