The Importance of Validation

"Validation of your truth is the essence of respect."  Jenna Ryan
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The Importance of Validation
Validation is an important part of being in relationship with Self and others. When we validate someone we are acknowledging that person's unique identity. Our external validation can also affirm positive feelings the person holds about him/herself. Understanding validation, and knowing how to give and receive it, is an essential career competency.

Human beings are social animals. The importance of belonging to a group has been critical for our survival as a species. Having someone else know and understand me contributes to my sense of belonging within the group, allowing me to "fit in." It also contributes to my identity and value as a person.

We need feedback from others in order to learn how to become an accepted member of our social group. The validation process begins within the family system, where ideally parents both protect and sustain the child's physical and emotional well-being.

Through adolescence, young adulthood, and the rest of life's stages, we continue to learn to self-validate, which is to recognize and acknowledge our internal experiences. And we continue to benefit from external validation and feedback.

In addition to the family system, our work environment provides an excellent opportunity for feedback and validation. While I may know when I'm doing a good job and experience a high degree of satisfaction from doing so, hearing the importance it holds for others, can be extremely meaningful.

Ideas for self-validation:

* Be able to talk with ease and comfort about your talents, knowledge, skills and experience
* Create your own recognition file
* Ask three friends to name your strengths
* Keep a Learner's Journal
* Don't wait for a performance review-do your own informal 360
* Update your resume yearly

Ideas for validating others:

* Voice your appreciation for someone whenever you feel it; the perfect time is the present
* Know what's important to someone and comment or ask about it
* Offer your help before being asked
* Notice another's unique approach to a task or a project
* Comment on another's creativity and/or innovation
* Never be threatened by someone else's competency-celebrate it!

I would love to hear about your validation experiences. 

Take good care,

Kathleen

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