Performance Lessons from THE VOICE

My favorite guilty pleasure returned to television last week.

The Voice. 

Heck, not guilty. No. Let me shout it to the heavens. I love The Voice!

The Voice is your not-so-basic singing competition. Yes, it is shamelessly staged and packaged and manipulated, like all reality shows. And yet, it instantly transcends its contrivances.

Because you can’t fake joy and heart for 2 hours. You can’t.

If you have never watched The Voice – do. If you don’t give a darn about singing – do.

I’m a performance coach. The Voice is a celebration of performance. That of the singers. That of the judges.

All business is public performance. Every meeting, every encounter. And The Voice offers keen insights for all of us who perform on the business stage.

What the judges teach us: 

Adam Levine. Usher. Shakira. Blake Shelton. A power-panel of 4 hugely accomplished singers. A slew of Grammy awards to their collective names. Big egos, no doubt.

Somehow, they each manage to check their ego at the stage door. Their exchanges are marked by a playful competitiveness. A joyous one-upmanship. A sense of delight in each other. The chemistry is palpable.

If you crave the joys of chemistry, check the ego at the door. Ego and chemistry are mutually exclusive. Ego kills flow. Ego kills joy. A delight in others invites it – even when you don’t really like them all that much. 

What the contestants teach us: 

Unlike other singing shows, The Voice doesn’t showcase “bad” talent. It is an unabashed celebration of the art and craft of singing.

Craft rarely is the differentiator in a field of high-craft singers. Neither is talent. The art of the performance is. The desire to sing the same old song a little differently. The will to ferociously commit. The ability to moment-by-moment unearth the emotional connection with a lyric. Which creates the emotional connection with an audience, in turn.

If you crave the personal impact of a high-craft singer, do not amble from one meeting to the next, belting the same old song. Establish an emotional connection to everything you say. Commit ferociously. And know that this is how you move others, in turn. 

The Voice is about the delight in playfulness and the ability to stir each other.

This week, contemplate two very simple questions as you engage in your daily business.

Where can I facilitate chemistry by simple delighting more in my colleagues and customers?

Where can I more deeply stir others by more deeply committing to what I say and do?

Explore. And notice how your answers to these questions instantly energize the business situation you’re in.