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Since the global economy started going pear-shaped at the back end of 2008 all of your people have taken a beating and, even if they choose not to show it to you, their egos are bruised, their self-worth is seriously hammered, and their self-esteem and confidence is at its lowest ebb for many years.

Do you want to have any chance of engaging them in helping you get the results you need to thrive in this challenging economy?

Then YOU have to help them fix that – now! There has never been a more important time than now for you, a leader, to validate your people.

As I started writing this post I did what I always do as I write – I Googled my topic. I hit this powerful short film within three results of the top.

Watch it – and you’ll see why it ranks so highly with the search engines (how come this was around since 2007 and I didn’t stumble across it before?!)

The best communication pieces tell you what you realize you already knew to be true – but probably hadn’t realized.

This short film does just that – it reminds you of the incredible power of something as simple as identifying, and then recognizing, the particular strengths of each of your people.

If you’re short on time just watch the first 3 minutes for the message. POWerful! If you’ve 16 minutes and need a smile and a little old-fashioned sentimental ‘feel-good’ then go for the whole film!

So, how do you as a leader become a Hugh Newman (the film’s hero) to your people?

  1. Greet everyone with a sincere smile. I’ll be writing on the physiological power of smiling later – for now, trust me: SMILE!!
  2. If you’re ever stuck for something specific to validate someone with just ask them how they’re doing – and LISTEN
  3. Watch all of your people to spot their particular strengths – and store them away for later validations when you think they need it
  4. Continually listen for what’s important to each of your people and store it away – then later ask them about it, and LISTEN
  5. Find anything about them that impresses you and use that for inspiration for a validating comment
  6. If they look sharp and well dressed; if their hair looks great – tell them
  7. Sincerity is key – don’t flatter. When you compliment anyone on anything always follow up with a ‘proof’ statement ‘…and the reason I say that is…’
  8. Treat every one of your people as equals. A simple way to do that: say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ even when what they are doing is part of their jobs
  9. Don’t stop at your people, take it home to friends and family – even extend it to under-appreciated service people on the phone or in restaurants
  10. Keep doing it, and doing it, and doing it (fast-forward straight to minute 7 of the film is you need to see why)

If your initial reaction is ‘that’s just not me’ then that’s all the more reason to take your courage in your hands and give it a go. Try validating even once person daily for the next five days – if you don’t see benefits then stop.

You’ll get such results I bet you’ll never stop!

So what have I missed – what other ways can you validate your people? (Use the comments facility below to let me know)