Validation. We’re often taught to not seek it, and instead look inside of ourselves for approval and acceptance. Due to this, there is a negativity bias surrounding validation. But I’m here to tell you—it’s not all negative. In fact, it’s crucial in the workplace to help you grow and achieve career success. Let’s debunk the negativity bias of validation and recognize how it can play a beneficial role in your career.
What Does Validating Mean?
Validating means reviewing the accuracy and value of something. For example, your high school English teacher would validate your essay. At 16, your mom would validate your driving skills.
However, validation is so much more than reviewing tasks to check for correctness. It exudes acceptance and confirmation of one’s value, which can be empowering.
Types of Validation
There are two types of validation to focus on to achieve career success: internal validation and external validation.
- Internal validation: when you validate your own values, emotions, and achievements.
- External validation: when others validate your values, emotions, and achievements.
As any strong leader knows, it’s not just about you; it’s about your entire team. So, here are some tips to teach you how to validate someone’s feelings and how to validate yourself.
How to Validate Yourself
When you learn how to validate yourself, you can then validate others. Afterall, you can’t pour from an empty cup. There is no one way to validate yourself, and certain techniques may work better for you than others, but here are some tips to get you started:
- Identify your strengths. You can say them out loud or write them in a notebook or online document. After you write them down, recognize how your strengths show up in your career. And in moments of self-doubt, refer to the list.
- Change your comparison outlook. Oftentimes highlighting your strengths can lead you to noticing others’ strengths. This then causes you to compare yourself to others. Instead, shift your outlook and focus on the fact that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s an opportunity to work together to find success using everyone’s strengths.
- Invest in yourself. Continue your career development and learn new things by attending webinars, courses, and industry events. When you learn new things, your skills improve, which helps you feel more valuable.
- Goal planning. If you have specific goals you’d like to reach in your career, don’t keep them within the walls of your mind. Validate your ability to achieve them by writing them down. Explain what the goal is and the timeline for reaching it.
- Create a daily mantra. A mantra is a statement that’s frequently said out loud. While it’s often used during meditation and yoga, you can use it throughout your day. Its affirming outcome can help you validate yourself. You can create a single mantra to use every day or create a new one every morning. For example, you could say to yourself, “I’m capable of reaching my goals.”
How to Validate Others
- Provide your undivided attention. If someone comes up to you at work and requests to vent or talk through a situation, give them all of your attention. Turn off your computer screen and find a quiet place to chat without distractions.
- Give them space. Don’t be quick to jump in with advice or insight. Allow the other person to say everything they need to, and even make way for moments of silence and reflection.
- Ask questions. After they’ve shared their story or situation with you, ask them questions about how they feel and what’s made them feel that way.
- Acknowledge and accept. Repeat what they’ve told you in a way that you understood it to show that you’ve listened. Then, offer words of acceptance. From here, you can offer a way forward with advice. The key is to acknowledge and accept their feelings.
Benefits of Validation for Your Career Success
Validation is a top leadership quality, as it can improve a workplace’s morale all around, from mood to contributions to teamwork. When people are validated, it actually balances emotions and helps people stay more level-headed during times of overwhelm.
So, when you validate yourself and others, you’re creating a safe, innovative, and growth environment that encourages career success for everyone at the table.
The Truth About Validation
Validation isn’t something to be avoided but embraced when used the right way. Make sure you learn how to validate yourself and fill your own cup first, so then you can pour into others. Increasing your career success is important, but nothing beats the feeling of your team succeeding with you.