My theme for this week has been the lessons we learn when we get our ass kicked. I wrote on Monday that you can’t be an ass kicker without getting your ass kicked, and for me, that’s been true. I’ve learned a lot more from losing than I have from winning, but there’s another benefit that I didn’t mention; others learn best from our mistakes as well.
Have you ever watched a speaker take the stage and spend an hour telling you how great they are? How did you respond to them? If you’re at all like, you were probably bored and tuned them out. This is a mistake to avoid.
A lot of presenters don’t like to talk about getting their ass kicked. It’s a lot more fun to talk about our wins than our losses, but talking about the times we’ve lost does a three really important things.
It Makes Us Relatable
When we’re able to admit our failures, we become much more relatable to our audience. We transform from some magical figure on stage to a person who struggles just like they do. This is a major key to forging a strong connection with our audience.
It’s human nature to like those who are like us. Since most of us are keenly aware of our shortcomings, having a speaker acknowledge theirs, builds trust. This trust makes an audience much more receptive to our message.
It Allows Others To Learn From Our Mistakes
In Monday’s post, I wrote about how much I hate to lose. If I am going to suffer through it, I believe that I have an obligation to share any lesson I learned in getting mine kicked with others so that they can avoid the mistakes I’ve made.
We learn a lot more from our losses than we do our wins which mean we have a lot more to share with others when we lose. Sharing the stories of our losses can help someone else avoid it. Look at it as your obligation to share it and it will take some of the sting away.
It Enhances Our Credibility
One of the questions burning in the minds of our audience is “Why should I listen?” When we talk about losing, we enhance our credibility and answer that question with honesty.
In much the same way telling stories of losing makes us more relatable, it also makes us more credible because an audience knows that it isn’t easy to talk about. They understand that we’d rather talk about winning, so it helps us come across as more honest. When we’re credible, we’re much more persuasive which puts a lot closer to winning from the stage.
I still hate to lose. I hate just about everything about it, but I’m not afraid to talk about it. My biggest fear in the world is to be boring in the front of the room. Speakers who love to tell you about their wins always are. By talking about my losses, I’m more relatable, I allow others to learn from my mistakes and I’m credible. Losing sucks, but talking about it on stage, is a surefire way to win.