The difference between judging talent, and coaching it.

By Sarah Liverance

My name is Sarah and I’m a talent junkie. There it is. I’ve confessed.

I religiously watch American Idol even though we know it peaked about 6 years ago and has been on a downhill slide ever since. But…second true confession: I have a full-on crush on Keith Urban so I have to hang in there for this season. The pleasure of watching and listening to him somehow makes sitting through heartbreakingly pathetic auditions and lousy Charlie & Lazaro performances worth it. Recently some friends who recognize my talent addiction convinced me to watch The Voice. “You won’t believe it”, ”you’re gonna love it”, ”it’s waaaay better”, on and on.

So last week I watched The Voice for the first time and I was pretty surprised by how differently the same arguably tired plot is approached. The key difference is how the guys/gals in the power chairs see themselves in relation to others.

On Idol, I’m a judge. I’m critical. I have all the answers and I’m here to tell you how it should be done. And…you’re probably not good enough to make it through to the next round.

On The Voice, I’m a coach. I’m celebrating, applauding, supporting, and recruiting you for my team. I believe that together, we can win this thing.

The difference in the energy is palpable. Our dogs’ reactions are proof.

So what type of energy would you like to have in your work place or your home (those with teenagers especially) – critical and patronizing or upbeat and collaborative? The good news is you’re in control – pick your role – judge or coach.