Were You As Bad As You Thought?

Yesterday I taped a Forum 360 for PBS. My guest is a national figure. I had prepped and stressed both an appropriate amount and an inappropriate amount for the interview.

After the taping I went down a 17 hour rabbit hole. I was convinced it was the worst show ever hosted or taped. I was inconsolable. I sat on the couch watching one bad movie after another as though it was a 21st century version of flogging.

You know the saying, “sleep on it”? I slept on it and in the morning it wasn’t that much better. But I was able to hold on to one clear thought. A thought I drum into my client’s over and over again: what is the observable, measurable evidence?

So I asked myself, “what is the observable, measurable evidence” that it was horrible? I did something I had not done before, was not sure it was possible. I requested to view the tape, to watch the show.

The observable, measurable evidence was that it was not horrible. My disappointment had come from the questions I did not ask. The viewers and listeners would not know what I didn’t ask, they would only see and hear what I did ask.

Sometimes I may be horrible. And sometimes my client might really be horrible.  We have to push ourselves to look past our “feelings’, past our pre-conceived notions as to what good or effective looks and sounds like. We have to look for the evidence. This is as true for the days when we think we were great as for the days we think we don’t deserve to exist and must live on the couch watching truly horrible movies.

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