Pompey boss Kenny Jackett admitted honesty is the best policy when it comes to his man management.
However, he believes building confidence is just as important in getting the best out of his Fratton Park side.
Jackett will, no doubt, be using such tactics in the here and now as he aims to get the Blues out of their current predicament.
Pompey currently sit 18th in the League One table – one point off the relegation places and eight shy of the last play-off spot.
They take on Lincoln tonight in their latest bid to rectify the situation.
The key then is building on their confidence, which has clearly been lacking for the majority of this season.
Jackett said: ‘There needs to be an accurate assessment.
‘You can’t necessarily tell players they’ve been great when they haven’t.
‘Similarly, you can’t be too harsh either.
‘You do realise that they’re are talented players and very good characters that want to do well.
‘They prepare themselves right, they want to do well for themselves, their team-mates and their club as well.
‘An accurate assessment is important.
‘You need to be able to hit the nail on the head, in terms of the game ahead and preparing them well.
‘After that it’s about encouraging them and giving them confidence.
‘There’s some information that has to be individual, but also some information for the group.
‘The art of management is where and when, then being able to put that into context for the good of the group.’