How Much Do You Validate Your Team?

Don’t Just Reward After the Fact—Appreciate Your Team Before They Act

It’s important to take the time to congratulate your team on a job done well. When they perform well it’s imperative to tell them that they did a good job. But how do you keep your team motivated when they have had failure after failure despite their best efforts? At those times, your team needs you to reinforce their psychological safety. They need you to validate them.


While rewarding your team for their performance is good, appreciating your team for their person is better. As Mike Robbins says in Harvard Business Review, “recognition is about what people do; appreciation is about who they are.” The people on your team are humans before they are employees. They need you to validate them.

Here are three ways that you can validate your team members in the normal course of your everyday work.


1. Respect them.


Make sure that you respect your people. Treat them as you would want to be treated. Create the environment where each one of them knows they are valued as a person.

Realize that you set the tone. Everyone on your team will watch you to see what acceptable behavior is at your workplace. And they will do what you do.


2. Honor them.


Each one of your employees is created in the image of God, just like you. Realize that you have the opportunity to lead a group of fellow image-bearers of God. And each one of them is worthy of honor.

Your culture at your workplace will be determined by you as the leader. How you choose to treat your people will affect everything else about your organization.


3. Affirm them.


Go out of your way to say things that will affirm your team. The words you say have more power than you realize.

As I said in my first book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew, “You are in a position of leadership to serve your team. Don’t squander it by being merely a boss.”

You are not just a manager—or even a leader. You are an agent of transformation. Be intentional about what you say to validate your team.


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Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew and Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew. Robert is also President of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies improve their employee cultures to make the companies healthier, more productive, and more profitable.



Dear Boss

Did you know that I

* Perform organizational culture assessments,
* Coach leaders how best to lead their teams, and
* Train teams how to best perform like a team?

To find out more, check out my first bestseller, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew.

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