The Power of Validation

One third of the day, for most people whom work 9-5 or 8 hours a day, is spent at work. If you figure another 1/3 is sleeping that leaves you 8 more hours to do other things.

So for 8 hours in the prime of your day, you are spending them at a job with people who you’re forced to see everyday. Your boss becomes like a parent and your co-workers like your siblings. So if this job of yours is suppose to be like a family, a team, why for so many does it leave them feeling drained, tired and unappreciated?

Oprah said it well in the last episode of her talk show: “I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common — they all wanted validation. … They want to know, do you hear me? Do you see me? Does what I say mean anything to you? “

I want to give you 3 little things you can do to help other people feel validated, because what you put out into the world always comes back to you.

1. Hello (name)!

A simple friendly greeting followed by an acknowledgement. It shows you see that person, you recognize they’re here in front of you and by using their name, it shows that you care enough to personalize your greeting.

Have you ever seen someone and it’s as though they see right through you, like you don’t even exist? Feelings of sadness, anger or annoyance may take over and make you feel uneasy all day.

But see a person coming towards you, make eye contact, smile and say, “Hello,Sue,” they’ll smile back and pay it forward to the next person they see. Plus that person will remember you cared and will validate you later on.

2. Thank you.

Again, a simple two worded statement. One of my favorite sentences. It says, “Wow, you did a great job,” “I appreciate the time and effort it took you to do this, you are very kind.”

Yet, this simple acknowledgment has become a lost art. I remember my mom making me write thank you cards as a kid for every gift I received. When I went to a friend’s house, she would tell me, “Now what do you say?” Maybe it was the practice and teaching I had as a kid that made the concept of gratitude so important to me now.

When you’ve gone out of your way, worked hard on something, helped someone and someone doesn’t thank you, you start to appreciate that person less. That person becomes a taker. But when you say thank you, the other person smiles, feels good, feels like you noticed, and wants to help you again.

3. What do you think?

A question that suddenly makes whatever you’re about to say important. It’s a moment where others stop talking and listen to what value you can offer. Feeling like you have a say over something, like your emotions are being heard, says to the other person, “You matter. I care what you want and I want to hear it.”

So many times we talk and talk, but asking this question and truly listening shows others you care.

I really think validation is such an easy thing to do, yet we hide in fear that if we give it, others may be better than us, which might makes us jealous, angry or powerless. But in fact, it does the opposite. It makes others smile, feel good, feel confident, feel like they matter, like they’re part of the team. Then they think higher of you, they want to help you and best of all they want to validate others because they know how great it feels to receive and give.

So I ask you to tell me in the comments below, how will you validate someone today at work, at home, in your life?