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External Validation & Business Development

External Validation is necessary for everyone’s well-being. Being told you did a great job, made the right decision, and look fantastic, is a boost to anyone’s self-confidence. Of course, experts will tell you seeking external validation is a sign of a self-esteem issue. Posting selfies for likes? You may have a problem!

What does internal validation even sound like? Are we supposed to remind ourselves we’re doing well? That seems rather biased – if I didn’t think they were the right decisions, I’d have made different ones. How frequently should I be looking in the mirror and telling myself, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!”

Quick rundown according to pop psychology:

  • Receiving external validation is good.
  • Seeking external validation is bad.

 Here’s Jason’s brilliant solution: Give external validation freely to others.

Think about it for a moment. Imagine a person who actively tries to see in others what they are doing well and points it out to them. They tell their partner how great the coffee is in the morning, compliment their assistant’s new hairstyle, let their clients know they appreciate their business, tell random strangers, “I like your car,” and laugh reacts to the funny things friends say online.

Let’s call this person Evie (short for External Validator.) Does Evie get a lot of compliments? Feel good about themselves? Probably.

And the really important question; does Evie get a lot of business?

One of our simple business strategies has been to like and comment on the social media posts of people in your industry. They smile, look you up, and it’s basically a point of contact. Maybe they even interact in response.

If you make a habit of it, business comes to you. That’s always the kicker, you can’t spend one day doing something and expect results. Imagine 8 hours of exercise. If you did it all in one day, you’d be sore and never go back to the gym. But, if instead, I exercise for 15 minutes a day, 4 days a week, for 8 weeks – at the end I’m stronger. If you consistently and liberally compliment and like things, people will remember you made them feel good. But one compliment doesn’t validation make. Do it often.

It’s easy for most to keep their heads down as they move through the world, only speaking up when something bothers them. They don’t say, “nice car,” they say, “nice parking, @$$hole.” Instead, when we look to validate, we are looking for the best in others. And by calling it out, we build people who appreciate us. 

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Tricia Tamkin, headhunter, advisor, coach, and gladiator. Tricia has spoken at over 50 recruiting events, been quoted in multiple national publications, and her name is often dropped in groups as the solution to any recruiters’ challenges. She brings over 30 years of deep recruiting experience and offers counsel in a way which is perspective changing and entertaining.

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