What Do You Do When You Realize That What You’ve Been Teaching Is Wrong?

by Reid on April 23, 2017

Speaker at Business convention and Presentation.How do you handle it if you find out what you’ve been telling clients is wrong? How do you clean it up so you build MORE connection and trust?

With Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and SexGeekSummerCamp.com and Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.

Reid: What do you do when you realize what you’re teaching is wrong? I love that. I love being wrong. 

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com and Sex Geek Summer Camp. 

Reid: When I’m wearing the Sex Geek Summer Camp shirt this is business advice for sex educators, and some of this advice is good for people in relationships too, so you might want to keep watching. 

Cathy: I’m Catherine Vartuli, from TheIntimacyDojo.com. 

Reid: We had a person write in, we love it when you write in, keep writing in, leave comments, email us. Let us know what your thoughts are and what your questions are. 

Cathy: I hate being wrong, it’s so embarrassing because I’m trying to be very careful and pay attention. I found that leaning into the embarrassment and just telling people right away if I’ve been doing something wrong is the best, and trying to avoid it or pretend … It’s one thing if information may have upgraded.

It might’ve been that you are teaching what was true or thought to be true at the time and then they found out something different, and it’s fine to say that. If you’re mistaken, just saying I am sorry, I am mistaken; it is always in my policy to tell people right away when I notice that I’ve been doing something wrong. Giving links and updated information is really important. 

Reid: Yeah. You don’t necessarily … Depending on how you deal with the internet, like if you have a post that was giving bad advice and now you have new advice, I would recommend don’t take the post down, but amend the post and put it up front, or put- 

Cathy: Not little letters. 

Reid: Not little letters, go like, “Oh my god, new information that will change everything.” What you’re modeling is that it’s okay to not be right all the time. We live in a day and age now where as an expert most people actually want you to be human and not some guru or doctor who is never wrong, which for most part we know is lie. 

Cathy: Yeah. 

Reid: Everybody’s wrong sometimes, and if you’re in the sex and relationship world, you should probably teach people how to clean up their messes when they fuck up. You can role model, “Oh, we have new information.” “This idea that I used to teach was really passionate about, you know what, I think I have a better thing. I think I’ve come up with something new that actually works better.” You’re role modeling the people get to grow and that ideas can change, and that is really powerful. 

Cathy: It will build really loyal followers if they know that you’ll clean up your messes. I really appreciate this question because I know as an engineer, a scientist as well, it’s really hard when you’ve been saying one thing and then to go back and say, “I was supposed to be an expert on this, but I made a mistake.” I really appreciate you just even being willing to ask a question, that takes a lot of courage.

I think that when you’re around, when you have a community of support that helps to when you’re feeling alone it can feel really hard to tell your followers, “Hey, I made a mistake.” If you have pure support where you can go, “Oh my god, I need to vent for a few minutes, I can’t believe this happened.” You have someone go, “Oh my god, me too.” It starts being easier.

You get a chance to process the shock and the disappointment that this happened, and then you can be more upfront with your followers. Use the five language of apology, I really love that book. You say, “I’m sorry, I hope you can forgive me.” You go through the language and let them know that, “Here’s how I’m making in it up to you. I’m running this new blog post. I’m letting everybody know.” That sort of thing can really make a difference and build a really deep relationship with your audience. 

Reid: It’s really powerful stuff, and there are so many things changing in culture around gender, and around racism, and inclusion, and just sectionality alone, just those things that I’ve been wrong and fucked up things before, and it’s how you show up and are willing to grow and implement things and make amends, that in our industry and in your personal relationships, that’s really what most people are looking for. 

Cathy: If this is something that interest you and it lines up for you come into Sex Geek Summer Camp. It’s a great way to meet, build networks, and meet a lot of really high integrity sex geeks who are there because they want to reach people and make a difference. I just had such a blast last year hanging out with them, because in our day to day life while working our business, we spend more time in front of our computer often, or in front of a classroom then we do with our fellow sex geeks, people that are educating in our shoes who really get the, “Oh my god that’s so embarrassing when that happens. I did this, this one time.” You suddenly start to feel much more normal. It can really extend the longevity of your business and make it a lot more fun. 

Reid: You do not have to reinvent the wheel, and you do not have to do it alone. Go to SexGeekSummerCamp.com if you’re interested in learning all the business geekery around the career of being a sex educator. If you’re still watching this video and you’re interested in relationship and intimacy stuff, just keep watching the videos, because when I’m wearing the sex geek shirt then we’re talking about relationship and intimacy stuff. 

Cathy: Please leave your embarrassing questions, your uncomfortable questions, the things you really want to know, leave them in comments below, we go through them and we will do our best to shoot videos in all of them. 

Reid: Thanks for sending in the questions that we like to answer on the videos. Bye.

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