Encouragement implies supporting, sustaining and comforting other people. In fact the Greek word the Bible usually uses for encouragement, is the same words which the Greeks would your for re-enforcements in battle or a support for a building which was falling. It has the picture of helping to support something under pressure.
One of the most important roles of a mentor is comforting people in their time of need. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” In other words God has comforted you, so then you can comfort others.
Paul is saying that we are to be an encouragement to others by comforting them. 2 Corinthians 7:5-7 illustrates this, “For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn— conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, encouraged us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.”
God uses people to comfort people. We can read this again in 1 Thessalonians 3:1-7. Timothy brought encouraging news to Paul and Silas about the Thessalonian church. His words brought relief from their distress and persecution.
Our lives should be no different; our words of encouragement should lift and support those who God has placed in our lives.