All of us have it and some more than others. All of us need it and all of us remember what a difference it made at one special moment. Gallup includes it as key to increasing employee engagement. What is this powerful ability? Encouragement.
The process of growth involves more discouraging moments than triumphs. Engaged employees are given opportunities to grow in their work. So most of the time, growth is filled with mistakes, misjudgments and occasional “AH HA” moments as we progress. Fail enough, however, and you start to develop a fear of failure. Fear of failure short circuits growth. Sound like a Catch 22?
Ironically, all the studies of successful people show the ability to persevere in the face of repeated failure as their common trait. That’s why encouragement is so crucial to helping your co-worker, boss, or subordinate stay on the road to progress when the fear of failure starts to appear.
Several statements in Gallup’s employee engagement survey use the word encourage or care. The reason is simple; when you “en”courage you literally POUR COURAGE INTO A PERSON. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to act in the face of fear. What a perfect antidote for discouragement.
Do you need a title to offer encouragement? Of course not. You do need an awareness of others and a willingness to sow what you know you will also need at some point. How many of us know what a big difference a small word of encouragement made in our past?
So go ahead and give yourself a promotion today. Appoint yourself Chief Encouragement Officer (CEO) and then make a decision to lead by example. And remember, this is one promotion no one can take away from you!
 2013 Gallup Survey of the American Workplace.