I don’t know about you, but I was terrified while anticipating my first karaoke experience. However, once on the stage with mic in hand and lights blinding my view, that fear melted away and I joined the masses of terrible singers before me, belting out some 90’s gem (probably Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta).
And then it all made sense to me, all these people with zero vocal abilities, eagerly waiting in line to perform a song in front of noisy strangers – in what other performance scenario do you get a crowd cheering you on, no matter how off-key you are? It’s an instant confidence booster.
There’s something special behind that energy and the support that creates a specific breed of “karaoke confidence”. But where does that confidence go when we leave the stage?
In their book, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, Tom and David Kelley write about how to apply the principles of karaoke confidence to your team’s creative culture.
“Throwing cold water on one person’s contribution can bring the conversation to a halt; it is the back and forth of ideas that can lead you to new and unexpected places.”
They pose the idea that this type of encouraging and supportive environment “depends on an absence of fear of failure and judgment.” So, during your next brainstorming session, imagine your coworkers are the adoring fans at a karaoke bar, trusting you to entertain. Now, no one’s suggesting you actively strive for failure at work, but why not approach the creative process with that same enthusiasm and fearlessness?
Get excited. Take risks. Experiment with new ideas. Build off of each other’s energy. Pitch that idea you’ve been too afraid to mention. If it flops, it just wasn’t the right jam for the crowd. Get back out there and find the tune that will get them going.
In order for you and your team to really deliver, embrace the karaoke confidence that establishes gumption, trust, and often, a standing ovation.