Tony Benn used to say that the role of senior people in society was to encourage. I don't think there as a truer phrase, but I think it's true for all of us.
A kind word here, a compliment there, I think it all goes some way to telling somebody that, whatever effort they just made, it is appreciated.
That's all. I've got no parable behind this, it's just a mantra I try to live by.