This post was most recently updated on February 23rd, 2014
I was in a “Listening” group today, applying the principals of the Art of Listening. We paired in twos. Partners had to share statements that they found helpful in stressful situations.
When I am stressed I use a breathing technique. I count from 1 to 10 without any distraction in my mind. Sounds easy?
Well….you try doing it. Inhale and just concentrate on the number one, exhale and see that number “1” go away. Inhale number “2” , exhale and see that number go away. Do it from 1 to 10. Now, if ANYTHING comes to mind other than the number, you have to go back and start at “1” again.
The object of the technique is to distract you from a negative moment. Also to clear your mind.
So I write it down and tell my partner what I did. She, has to respond to me “I hear that you are saying that your breathing and number technique works to calm you down.”
That is what we call “validation”
Then it was my partner’s turn to share her method of stress-reduction. I validated her comment.
NO! Validation is effective because you can only validate a person by active listening. This is one of many techniques I am working on to sharpen my skills in active listening.
When people talk we tend to have ideas running through our heads. If we ignore those ideas and validate what the person is saying, we are being active listeners. Active listeners get more out of the conversation. Alternately, we might be thinking of our response rather than listening intently. But in so doing, we are focused on judging, not listening. Does our partner really need us to judge, or to listen?
Validation is more important to a person because they are confirmed that you have heard what they have said.
Now what does this have to do with Social Marketing, Internet Marketing or Network Marketing? EVERYTHING.
After the exercise, all I could think of are the blog comments I routinely write. I read the blog and sometimes make the mistake of not validating what the blogger had written about. My mind runs and connects with my own experiences, and rather than focus on the blogger’s point of view, I anticipate my response as I read.
I wrote a previous article about the importance of blog commenting.
I have taken this opportunity to re-asses how I craft my comments. I have caught myself thinking about my response, rather than reading intensely. I would then write my comment about me, and my relationship to what was written in the post.
STOP! READ! LISTEN!!!
Now, I am more aware when I am reading a post. I am more conscious of the fact that I must validate what that person has written first, and then maybe add my own two cents.
Comments on a blog are so important because others do read comments. This is the fuel that blogging is powered by. It is how I have personally attained so many followers and subscribers, and how you might, too. Readers liked what I said, and sought me out via Google+, Facebook, or other social media sites.
CALL TO ACTION: When you comment on a blog post, are you “listening” to what that person has written? Do you validate the information they have given you?
Think about it and let me know your thoughts.