I won’t say I’ve heard it all, but I have heard a lot when it comes to “Why I don’t give much praise.” It’s interesting that praise (positive reinforcement for behavior/results that you want repeated) works and is free, but some still resist. Here are a few examples of the “logic” involved:

The Excuses

The Reality

“It’s not who I am.” As soon as you achieved a position where leadership became your prime responsibility it stopped being about you.
“I’m not good at it.” You weren’t good at a lot of things once. You learned then and you can learn now. Are you suggesting that you cannot say “Thank you” with sincerity?
“I will either sound like I’ve been to ‘praise school’ or a cheerleader.” That is possible.  Find the middle ground. Don’t go to the extremes of no praise or over-the-top extravaganza.
“They get paid every payday. Why do I have to praise them, as well?” You don’t. Unless you want higher levels of performance and getting more of what you want. A petulant child can issue orders. Leaders connect with people. You get to decide.
“I’ll spoil them.” If they feel under-recognized, unappreciated, or uncertain how well will they perform? What would it take to make them feel over-appreciated? Is that even possible?
“It will make me look weak. They will take advantage of me.” That you could have such a thought decries insecurity already. Of course there are people who will try to take advantage of anything, but you don’t let that small minority stop or slow your progress. Most people need at least five positive exchanges to make up for one negative exchange.

It seems to be that one of the root causes of lack of praise is that most professional managers really don’t know how they are perceived, especially when it comes to recognition (praise). What they feel inside does not align with what others see/feel/experience on the outside. Get some feedback from someone you trust who has no agenda in giving you honest feedback.

Then praise them for their courage and the feedback.

In Other Words…

“There’s a widespread belief that if you have solid self-esteem you don’t need outside affirmation and praise. This is patently untrue, by the way.” ― Harriet Lerner

“Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.” ― Tim Fargo

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” ― John F. Kennedy

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

In The Word…

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” —Philippians 4:13