The Power of Validation
Validation is a powerful tool that businesses know (or at least should know) is an important part of their work environment. Validation is about recognizing an individual or group for something that they have accomplished, felt, experienced, etc. Validation is about creating, strengthening, or maintaining the personal connection to the other individual or group. Validation strengthens a person's connection to a group and/or organization. It creates a stronger sense of purpose as they feel they are valued, understood and their efforts are respected.
In the context of a challenge that an individual or group has faced within your organization it is important to LISTEN. You must listen first to understand their perspective and experience of the situation. You will most certainly have your view of how things could have gone or what you assume they might be experiencing. However, do not impose YOUR ideas or assumptions onto the other person or group. You could very well miss the mark and then you will have failed at providing any kind of validation to them.
When you listen pay attention to their language, their tone, and their body language to get a full picture of the situation. While listening you can ask questions to further develop your understanding of the circumstances. Once you have allowed them to 'unpack' their thoughts, feelings and ideas about the situation then you have validated their experience and can move forward by discovering strengths or successes of the situation, things that were learned and how they can be applied to future situations.
Validation of successes, results, meeting or exceeding targets, outcomes, experiences, etc. Validation is something that should be done on a regular basis. You should be showing your colleagues or employees or your supervisors that you take notice of the work that they are doing. Let's face it, we can sometimes get caught up in 'other people's business' and what they are doing. If it's positive then let them know. Validation should happen on a regular basis. It does not have to be something big necessarily (although it definitely can be). In addition, validation does not and should not solely happen in a top-down manner. By this I mean recognition and validation or successes should not just be coming from managers, and supervisors everyone should feel comfortable in validating anyone and everyone.
1. Do it often
2. Be consistent with how often you do it
3. Validate big and small. Take notice the little behaviours, activities and successes that are happening all of the time.
4. Validate results, outcomes, feelings, personal experiences and business-related experiences.
As Always, Strive To Optimize!