One of the most important values in business, is loyalty. You absolutely want to know who’s really on your side.
Barbra Streisand had a traumatic episode that destroyed her confidence, but serves as a loyalty test:
In 1966, Streisand literally forgot the lyrics to her own songs, in front of a crowded Central Park audience in New York.
Besides the live embarrassment, headlines also become aflame soon after with a scandal sparked from her collaboration with Omar Sharif in “Funny Girl”.
We are talking of a jab and uppercut right to the kisser of her self-confidence.
You might not know about this fact, but she decided to stay away of live performances for… quite some time.
Namely, 27 years.
Let it sink in.
Besides all the money she could have made from those years of stage absence, imagine all the inspiration she could have brought to millions, live.
Now, we can understand her reaction. She was severely bullied as a teen and still had that lingering sensation of being inadequate.
She decided to come back to the stage in the mid 90s.
And, for good measure, there were two HUGE screens right above the stage and facing her, with the lyrics… just in case.
The curse was broken.
And there’s something really, really important to learn from that:
Streisand learned the hard way that the media was willing to eviscerate her no matter what.
Well, there is no business like show business… right?
That’s the daily grind of celebrities.
You and me might not be celebrities, but surely we can ‘forget our lines’ to this effect:
Take, for example, King Louis XIV.
He used to test Versailles’s courtiers by faking insecurities, forgetting important facts, and sometimes acting foolishly.
This way, he could spot the reaction of the courtiers when they saw him in these strange attitudes.
He was well aware of their body language, facial expressions, and emotional reactions.
He was like a french Cal Lightman with a funny wig.
But that’s exactly how he managed to rule for more than 72 years.
Funny though, 72 is the inverse of Streisand’s 27!
(Sorry, I’m a numbers freak)
Of course: your reputation is your best asset, hands down.
So if you’re going to apply the ‘incompetent’ strategy, go for a humane mistake.
After all, someone that seems too perfect will spark suspicions.
Those ‘mistakes’ will be your loyalty test. Pay attention.
It’s critical that you learn how to spot those body language cues that people reveal when they are, in fact, pleased with your errors.
If you want to start deciphering human behavior, subscribe to my daily lessons and download my free Tips eBook:
Jesús Enrique Rosas
I can read your body language and write a story about it.