The principle of validation can take on many meanings in English or any other language.
The best definition I’ve come up with (as it relates to human potential) is this 10-word sentence: “A specific acknowledgment of appreciation for a task well done.”
But the most curious thing about validation is that it feels just as good to the person who does the validating as it does to the person who gets validated.
As a trainer and teacher, I feel the most validated if one of my students unexpectedly shows their appreciation by verbally acknowledging the time and effort I put into designing the tele-curriculum.
How and why they show their validation is important to me, but when the validator is specific about what they appreciate about my training, it makes me feel even better.
Key Point: The more specific the validation, the better it feels to the person who gets validated.
As a parent, I feel the most validated when my wife, Aimee and my two kids Gabriel and Breanna, participate in our early morning “What I appreciate most about you …” round-robin during breakfast.
It’s a simple game of specific validation that any family can play.
It takes just 8 minutes out of our day and it’s a great mental booster that inspires us to blast any unexpected challenges.
Okay, so you’re probably thinking, “That’s great Alex, but what about the ‘short movie’ you promised in the headline?”
Keep reading … I’ll give you the direct link at the end of this post. But, if you just can’t wait, just visit YouTube (Search: “validation”).
When you see it, you’ll discover the movie already has hundreds of thousands of views and it still holds a 5-Star Rating (Running Time: 16 mins, 23 secs).
I really appreciate my friend, Peter Einstein for emailing me the link to this YouTube movie a few days ago because it is inspiring, funny and cleverly directed. (Read the comments posted by other viewers to see what I mean).
Key Point: Validation is an observable act and human behavior that espouses both appreciation and gratitude.
The reason I believe this is because validating someone else requires specific and observable acknowledgement.
As such, appreciation is an “Outer Game” (doing) activity that is public and “interpersonal.”
I also feel grateful when I validate someone for a task well done, but my gratitude is not as observable. It’s more personal or “Inner Game” (feeling) activity.
Put another way, appreciation is the doing part of gratitude.
Makes sense so far, yes?
Okay, so what the heck does validation have to do with marketing your business or accelerating your business growth?
I have a ONE word answer and here it is: EVERYTHING!
Entrepreneurial CEOs: MBWA, “Management By Wandering Around,” was a favorite business acronym since the early 80’s, when Tom Peters and Robert Waterman made this Hewlett-Packard hallmark famous in In Search Of Excellence.
MBWA is the fastest, easiest and most reliable way to authentically validate your team, vendors and independent contractors.
Take time to visit (or fly-in) your support team members. Face-to-face appreciation feels more validating to receivers than ear-to-phone appreciation. Wouldn’t you agree?
Information Publishers: You will attract more “Second Sale” customers (a.k.a. “multi-buyers”) when you validate them as soon they buy from you for the first time.
My multi-buyer students have 6 to 8 times greater lifetime value (LTV) than my one-time buyer students! If you don’t believe me, then I hope you compete with me ;-)
Key Point: A multi-buyer is making a purchase during a different transaction session. Multi-buyers may buy an “upsell” offer during their initial purchase, but they’re not multi-buyers until they make their second purchase.
If you’ve ever taken any one of my tele-trainings such as Teleseminar Secrets then you already know that you get “alumnus status” the moment you complete the course the first time.
My alumni consistently get validated whenever they purchase a second training from me because every training they invest in after the first one is always half price!
(In essense, I rebate them a 50% affiliate commission in advance for referring themselves).
My alumni often tell me (by phone or in person) how validated they feel for saving big money and getting preferential treatment.
And why shouldn’t I prefer them over newer students? My student alumni are like family to me. If you’re an info publisher, marketer or trainer, give this strategy a fair try. It can and will double your income without any cash outlay … it’s WIN-WIN.
My students WIN by saving money and getting preferential treatment. And I WIN by increasing my income without spending a single penny more on promotion or marketing costs. You can do the same!
(If you don’t believe me again – and I’m not kidding – I really hope we compete with each other).
Small Business Owners: Your business becomes more productive (and profitable) when you validate others with consistency, frequency and authenticity. (Please read that sentence again – twice!).
The 3 most important concepts in the previous sentence are: consistency, frequency and authenticity.
In study after study conducted by Motivation Research firms since the 1920s, an employee’s #1 motivation for staying with the company (even with paycuts) is appreciation – a.k.a. “validation.”
But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself for the next 21 days and watch what happens to your bottom-line ;-)
Parents & Family: Your kids or family members will feel validated by you when you play a simple game called: “What I appreciate most about you …”
I already talked about this game earlier in this blog post, one thing we’ve found to work really well is it’s great breakfast, lunch or dinner icebreaker. Instead of looking at our plates and eating, or forcing a conversation, we just play!
One of the most validating humans I know, Bonnie Bruderer taught me this simple game and my wife, Aimee and I have adopted it as “breakfast of champions” fodder.
If you have kids, try it a few times because the only rules of the game is to speak the truth and look at the person you’re validating straight into the eyes.
Here’s the template:
“What I appreciate most about you today is … [Fill in a specific, observable behavior you want to validate]“
Key Point: In our experience, the “What I appreciate most about you today…” game is more personal and has a lot more impact than the “high-low of the day” game many families play at dinner time.
Here’s the thing – the power of verbal validation with someone you appreciate and acknowledge provides an “Outer Game” context for feeling grateful. I’d call it interpersonal gratitude – no one is left on the sidelines because everyone plays :-)
Thought Leaders: Jack Canfield makes a weekly commitment to validate at least 10 people on his team or in his student body. He says it gives him chills every time he does it and it never gets old.
Oprah Winfrey validates members of her student audience by giving away prizes such as cars, trips and other thoughtful gifts.
I have yet to see her embarrass any other guests with controversy or finger-pointing. Instead, Oprah chooses to validate her guests with plenty of hugs and compliments.
I’m only guessing, but maybe Oprah’s ability to validate (and not criticize) is why she is a billionaire today.
What To Do Now: If you want to start experiencing wild success in your personal and professional life, then start validating those who are closest to you. Take the power of validation seriously. Make it a habit.
Validate with passion and repetition (consistency). Validate often (frequency). And always, always, speak from your heart (authenticity), not just your head, whenever you validate someone special.
Aim for going “3-for-3” which means validating others with consistency, frequency and authenticity.
Give it a try so those closest to you can have the opportunity to acknowledge you as a world-class manager, entrepreneur, spouse, parent, friend, relative or whatever role you play during your lifetime.
The Short Movie: Look, I could go on and on about how the simple act of validating others can lead to a spectacular life. But I don’t believe my own words can even hold a candle to this 16-minute video I want you to watch now.
So congratulations, you made it this far – you’re one of the few who do!
The move will take just 16 more minutes out of your day, but what you’ll discover will last you a lifetime.
When you’re done, please leave your comment below and let me know what you think. I like seeing lots of comments because I’m wired for validation just like everybody else.
Your courtesy will be most appreciated.
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