With the world’s attention on the Oscar’s yesterday, we experienced an almost cataclysmic event for Hollywood after the ‘Best Picture’ was awarded to the incorrect movie. With bruised egos, hurt feelings and general consternation, one must ask oneself, what is the correct etiquette for handling such an event?
- Minimize Rejection and Embarrassment
When announcers realized that the incorrect name was read out, they should have politely stated, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen there has been an unfortunate mix-up.’
‘The team of Lalaland, please may I ask you to take your seats.”
Rejection is one of the greatest social fears, in fact rejection registers in the same part of the brain as physical pain. That is why all of us can remember a time in our lives when we were embarrassed or rejected. It leaves a ‘mental’ scar. Which is why it is important to deal with such a situation in a prompt, sensitive and organized way.
- Rebuild the Excitement
Once everyone had taken their seats, they should have disclosed the confusion with the envelope and apologized to Lalaland.
Then calmly stated with a sense of growing excitement, ‘The winners of the Best Picture award for 2017 goes to…. Moonlight.”
This would have allowed the crowd time to digest what had happened and allow the real winners their time to shine.
Unfortunately with the haphazard and disorganized way it was handled, the golden moment for Moonlight was stolen and doused in a cloud of confusion and embarrassment.
- PWC’s Apology
We can all learn something from PWC’s response. We have seen in the past when company’s hold back their apology for fear of doing damage to their brand, they actually do more damage as seen in the case of Ford and their cars’ latent defect.
PWC immediately apologized and took the responsibility although still subtly stating that they had no idea how it happened. The lesson learnt – always give an apology immediately and state that more investigation will be done into the details.
Mistakes happen, that is fine but it really comes down to how we manage those mistakes afterwards and the impact those actions have on other people.
As human beings, one of greatest needs, is the need for acceptance. We are all constantly in search of external validation and when we feel rejected or embarrassed, these feelings can remain for a lifetime.