Validate Your Valentine

What is the best gift you can give your Valentine?

Today is my birthday! I’m so grateful for all the wonderful abundance of people and things that I have in my life. In gratitude for all of these gifts, I want to tell you about one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones.

I was listening to a podcast by one of my heroes, Brendon Burchard. He’s an author, a motivational speaker and a coach, and I love his story.

Brendon was talking about what we crave from one another – love, of course. But in some ways, an even more important human need is validation – as Brendon says, “I hear you” is one of the most powerful things you can say to a friend, a colleague or a loved one.

The number one reason people quit their jobs and their relationships is that they don’t feel appreciated – they don’t feel validated and seen. If someone suggests an idea during a meeting and nobody responds, even negatively, the chances of their contributing another idea to that group go down by 50%. Feeling invisible and ignored is a very painful experience, and one that people are not eager to repeat.

Offering validation is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your relationships, whether it’s with your colleagues, your friends or your kids. You don’t have to agree with what the person is saying, but research shows, according to Brendon, that even debating with the person offers validation and leaves them feeling heard and seen.

Look up from your phone when someone is talking to you – look at the person, listen to what they are saying, and offer the appropriate nods and “uh-huh”s. Paradoxically, engaging in an actual conversation, however brief, is the quickest way to get back to what you were doing, while leaving the other person feeling good about the interaction.

By mid-February, 92% of people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. If one of your resolutions was to have better relationships with friends, family and colleagues, engaging in validating interactions with them will keep you in the 8%. Give it a try!

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