31 Aug 2010

Failure: The New Success

voice-over hints, tips, and tricks No Comments


Originally uploaded by dresmall

“Knowledge gained from failure lasts longer”
University of Colorado Business School Study

It may seems self-evident when we are sitting in a safe place surfing through cyberspace but a recent study completed by the University of Colorado’s Business School seems to confirm the common notion that organizations can learn more from failures than successes. Or, perhaps I should say we tend to learn more from our failures but that is far from a given. Too often we are prone to over fixing or over correcting problems. I believe that failure where we can step back, acknowledge the problem, learn from it (thereby freeing ourselves from a fear that the problem is permanent), and avoid over correcting is failure that will eventually turn into a success. Failure where we become quick to blame and slow to learn is a failure we are surely doomed to repeat.

In the world of voice-overs the pressure to perform can quickly sour into a fear of failure. This fear develops into stagnation. That stagnation can manifest in a performer’s abilities, style, the type of work they’ll do, or even their marketing efforts. I had a teacher once who would force us to occasionally practice a bit of text “wrong.” In other words, she made us do all the mistakes we were afraid to make. While I hated the exercise at the time, it was insightful both how difficult it could be (fear is after all rooted in the unknown) and how often great insights and new tactics came from the experiment. I wouldn’t recommend trying it out in booth on a client’s time, but the next time you feel yourself stagnating in a rehearsal session give it a try.

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