How to be a Chief Encouragement Officer

If you hear any version of these statements on a regular basis, you may be a Chief Encouragement Officer.

  • “I need to hang around you more often.”
  • “You are the most positive person.”
  • “You encourage my heart.”

Empowerment, hope, encouragement – all connected

Empowerment is one of my favorite topics. Recently I realized that there are some particularly important requirements to feel empowered. To behave in an empowered way requires confidence. It’s like a little path. In order to gain confidence you have to at least feel hope and encouragement. Encouragement was the big ah-ha for me. I don’t think we can receive or offer enough encouragement.

“The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams.” – Sidney Madwed

You can’t give what you don’t have

Early in my career, I was competing unnecessarily with the women I worked with. I felt uneasy about it. When I dived into it I understood, first, there was enough for everybody. Secondly, competing negatively brought us all down, including me. I wanted to eliminate the destructiveness. I wanted to be uplifted and uplifting.

About that time I was reading a book of wisdom. It stated the only thing lacking in any situation is what you are not giving. That got my attention. I started noticing myself mentally commenting when someone showed noteworthy skills or actions. Then I started voicing my observations. Why don’t we do that more often?

I once asked someone what held her back from recognizing others more. She said she didn’t want to indulge them. That’s an interesting take on encouragement. I wondered what she said to herself when it came to assessing her own skills, abilities and actions.

I was coaching an employee on writing his performance appraisal. He could not use the word “I” when describing his accomplishments. This might seem like a small thing. Yet it pointed to discomfort with owning his gifts. He told me it felt like bragging. I understand. In reality, it is simply stating facts.

Affirm your skills, abilities and accomplishments with humble confidence. Then you can more comfortably become an encouragement machine.

Qualifications to be a Chief Encouragement Officer

It’s not about superficialities. The other day I told a woman that I could tell she put a lot of thought into her outfit. That’s more meaningful than saying, “Nice outfit.” She told me that comment gave her confidence, as she was going into an important meeting just then.

It’s not about compliments. It’s about noticing what is important to another person and offering a boost in that area. Encouragement can be as simple as:

  • Noticing someone is nervous about a presentation and later sharing what you learned.
  • After having observed someone in retail dealing with a difficult customer, acknowledge the skill and patience shown.
  • Helping someone recognize a skill he or she clearly takes for granted.

To be a successful Chief Encouragement Officer means you hold a positive vision for what human beings are capable of, for yourself and for others. You have an unconditional commitment to see what others do well. Just as important, you are committed to telling them. You apply this to yourself as well.