“It's important to make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” — Barack Obama
You might be wondering what validation looks and sounds like. Some statements that you can employ include phrases like “Good job,” “Keep it up,” “Makes sense,” “I can see where you’re coming from,” and “I hear you.” No matter the response you choose, always make sure you get the tone right so that it doesn’t sound patronizing. To show that you have been listening to the other person, an effective technique you can apply is to paraphrase i.e. provide a summary of what they just said to you. You can also use the power of body language in your favor: little gestures like a genuine smile, a high five, or a thumbs-up can lead to incredible outcomes in the long haul.
Validation doesn’t mean agreeing with someone—you don’t have to see eye to eye on a matter. You need to acknowledge the other person’s feelings and views, but not necessarily go along with what they say. Validation simply requires that you give them the space to speak without judgment and accept their right to have those feelings and opinions. And if you have to disagree or say no to something, you must do it in a way that still makes them feel valued.