Rule Three: Pay attention
Knowing how to validate someone's feelings in five steps means listening deeply.
Pay attention to them.
Don't be distracted. Put your phone away—actually, turn it off. Turn towards the person and make full eye contact.
These are simple things but vital. If you were sharing your own problem with someone and they wouldn't turn off the TV, how would you feel?
Write this somewhere so you remember it: attention is equal to love. How we know we're loved is because we get attention. If you have kids, you know this really well. Kids don't care if you buy them stuff, they care if you give them your time.
Rule Four: Ask questions
Say, 'Tell me more about that. Is it okay if I ask you a question so I can start to understand what's going on."
Simple. Then the last step:
Rule Five: Validations
Say powerful validations:
- That sounds really challenging.
- Good on your for coming through to where you are.
- It's wonderful that you are so committed and taking action in this way.
- Is there anything else I can do for you?
- How can I help?
- I'm here for you.
Many people will go through their entire life without hearing beautiful validations said in this way, from someone who isn't distracted or focussed on something else.
Validation is the pathway into someone's heart and soul. It's how to light them up and let them know they are enough and they are worthy for who they are as a person.
This is how coaches validate clients but you can also use this in relationships and inside the family or the workplace, in any situation where someone is sharing a challenge and your intention is to make the person feel understood, seen and heard.