Yesterday, my daughter competed in a regional cheer leading competition. Had they placed third or higher, we would be headed to Las Vegas in July for a national competition. Unfortunately, she and her team placed fifth. There were many tears this weekend, but the good news is that it provided opportunities for multiple teachable moments. Here's the video of their segment, which I streamed live to the INDIE FaceBook Page so her dad (who was out of town) could watch live!
If you watch the video, you'll notice that the DJ cued up the incorrect music twice. Of course this didn't help them in their quest for a national berth. But it did provide one of the many teachable moments we were treated to. Here are some more:
- Life is not fair. During the competition, I and several other parents observed one of the chief judges texting while the teams performed. In my observation, this caused him to miss a disqualifying move by a team that ended up placing in the top 3. As I dried my daughter's tears, explained that sometimes, the only reward is the satisfaction that you did a good job and tried your best, and that doing your best is no guarantee of success. These pearls of wisdom are no consolation today, but they will be later in life when the stakes are higher than a cheer leading trophy.
- Nice people rock. After the competition, I observed mean girls and nice girls. Mean girls said things like, “You did a great job, sorry you didn't win,” then turned around and snickered mockingly. (Yes, I had to restrain myself …) Nice girls came over and shared that they lost two or three times before they earned a national spot. They gave understanding hugs and encouraged the girls not to give up. Their compassion moved me to tears. I challenged my daughter to ponder her experience in terms of which of those types of girls she wanted to be in her own life.
- Be teachable. Once my daughter calmed down, I asked her to share 3 things she learned from the experience. So far, she says she can only think of one: she got to see how important it is to listen to your coach. She said she watched the winning team interact with their coach during the event. She noticed that when the coach told the girls to do something, they did it immediately. I had noticed that too, and I love that my daughter observed this kind of dynamic in action — outside of the mother/daughter realm … where things aren't always so cut and dry!
I can' t help but notice that these points apply to business too. Sometimes things don't work out despite our best efforts. Sometimes, people laugh at and mistreat us, and are even happy when we encounter business trails. And if you've ever had a business coach (or a coach of any kind), you know how valuable are — IF you listen to them.
But as painful as they are, without experiences like these, it's impossible to ever really be a winner.
Question: Have you had a chance to “enjoy” teachable moments like these? I would love to hear your experiences — and tips! (Especially since my daughter has declared an intention to make it to nationals next year … To Be Continued …)