Listen. Discover. Reflect
Posted on February 5, 2019 by Jonathan Mills
Employees need regular validation. It is one of a few emotional core concerns, integral to healthy employer-employee relationships. It is also the most influential concern and helps satisfy other needs like friendship, independance, and status. When an employee is validated they are more productive, cooperative, trustworthy, and loyal. However, lack of validation is also impactful. When an employee feels misunderstood it contributes to workplace aggression. Workplace aggression is a dynamic that contributes to conflict, underperformance, absenteeism, bullying, and unethical behavior.
Mastering something like validation takes time and commitment, but it also has a simple beginning. The “LDR Method” is an easy way of remembering the fundamentals of active validation. It is the process of receiving, understanding, and appreciating someone else’s point of view.
The LDR Method: Listen Actively, Discover Merit, then Reflect Validation.
As the other person speaks, mentally restate or rephrase what they say. The act of thinking it back to yourself keeps you engaged and improves your understanding and retention. Also take note of the other person’s body language and inflection.
Look for merit in their position, starting with the assumption that they are justified in their feelings. Validating an alternative point-of-view helps you think and feel more rational while also preparing you to respond positively.
Tell the other person about the merit you see in their point-of-view. They will feel safe and ready for collaboration if they know that they have been heard.
The LDR method is a good start, but creating a culture of validation would be even more powerful. Consider adopting these two strategic objectives to posture your organization for greater collaboration, reduced conflict, and effective alignment.
Objective 1: Adopt an appreciation for diverse perspectives.
Encourage managers and employees to learn more about each others’ experiences. Identify the value in those experiences and the unique contributions that they bring.
- Develop Personas (or audiences): Source insights from multiple divisions and levels of the organization to write a few high-level personas. These personas should describe the breadth of employee experiences and can be used to educate managers.
- Role Reversal: Create opportunities for managers and employees to trade roles, giving them the opportunity experience each others’ challenges and points of view.
Objective 2: Create shared employee experiences.
Create opportunities shared experiences. Build corporate groupthink into a healthy, productive cultural dynamic.
- Storytelling: Write company language, stories, and idioms that have a common meaning. It will help employees use a shared language and help capture past experiences.
- Quarterly Events: Schedule cross-division, multi-level experiences at least once a quarter. Create a calendar of events well in advance and remind employees of past and future events. Maintain a backlog of options based on cost, location, participants, etc.
Fostering great culture is a journey and you and your team are fully capable of steering your organization toward a happy, healthy future. Corporate Culture Specialist offers insights and resources to help you get there. Get to know us by scheduling a call or sending an email.