10 Steps To Teach A Leader How to Lose Like a Champ
It’s time to have a conversation with President Trump about good sportsmanship. It is an important life lesson that all parents have to teach their children and now, it is critical that Republicans teach these same lessons to the President.
Everyone likes to win but as my Grandfather always said — nobody likes a sore loser. Republicans, you must help President Trump handle his “big feelings” that have come with an election loss. Below are 10 tips to teach the President how to concede with dignity. You can show Trump that you value and understand good sportsmanship while making sure our country has a safe and healthy democracy. You need to be Trump’s role model and show him that you uphold the below principals so he can see how to properly concede at this critical time.
1. Talk to Trump about “winning and losing” in reference to other sports he engages in.
While playing a game of golf, chat about how it feels to win and lose. See if you can get him to talk about his feelings when he loses a golf game and then relate it to the bigger picture of the election. How does he respond? Try to find the stats of Trump’s favorite football player and point out how this athlete sometimes lost as well. This may help teach him that defeat is a natural element of life.
2. Explain to Trump the meaning of the French phrase, “C’est la vie”!
Talk to the President about why we win and lose and that it is sometimes because of luck and nothing more. Have him practice saying, “It’s the luck of the draw” or one of my favorite phrases, “C’est la vie” (That’s life!). It is important for Trump not to take every loss so seriously. If he still says that it is “not fair” and there is “voter fraud”, try to refocus him on his feelings. For example, you can say, “I know you think the election was stolen. Are you angry (or sad) that you lost?”
3. Model what a “good sport” looks like.
Watch a debate with Trump and comment when a politician does something controversial, like refusing to shake hands after a national debate, by saying something like, “What do you think about what this politician did? Would you have acted differently?” Also, do not trash talk Biden with him. Instead, say something like, “I’m upset the Republicans lost too, but it’s just one election, and I know we will feel better about it as soon as we start preparing for the next one.”
4. Teach Trump how to stay positive in the face of losing.
Find a moment when Trump is calm and talk about what it means to have a “positive mindset”. Ask him what he enjoys about being President. Keep the focus on what pleases him about his life rather than on “winning versus losing”. Even when he doesn’t win, he can end on a positive note. Legal threats, negative tweets, firing more people, and other negative behaviors should not be acceptable at this time. He is just further “acting out” instead of feeling his feelings and staying focused on the glass being half full.
5. Reward Trump when he displays empathy in losing (or winning).
If Trump does handle losing well, be sure to acknowledge it right away. Say something like, “I saw you congratulate Biden, even though you were upset you lost the election.” When you talk about the election, focus on his efforts rather than successes. For instance, “You ran an amazing campaign even though you lost. You should be super proud of that — especially at your age.”
6. Teach Trump how to calm himself down.
Before Trump picks up his phone to tweet or retweet an angry accusation, have him take a few deep breaths or count backwards from 10. Let him know you’re available to talk through how he feels about losing the election only after he has calmed down.
7. Remind Trump to respect the rules and authority of the electoral process.
Trump needs to learn not to argue with the election results. Even if Trump disagrees about the voters’ choices, he should avoid disrespecting what the majority of the people want and the states’ authority over the ballot counts. Trump needs to learn respect. If other Republicans are constantly arguing with the U.S. Court of Appeals, Trump is likely to do the same. Emphasize the importance of listening to the states and the news and follow their directions. Good sportsmanship, in this instance, requires that Trump accept the electoral vote count even if he doesn’t like it.
8. Discipline Trump when he exhibits bad behavior.
If Trump continues to act out as he has been doing since the election, he needs to be disciplined like any other child would. Have a chat with the Vice President Pence to see if he can intervene and talk to Trump. Melania and the kids may also have to create real consequences in the home for him until he listens. Make sure you talk to Trump so that he understands what he has done is wrong and how he can be better in the future.
9. Do not avoid meltdowns to keep the peace.
It might seem easier to steer clear of competitive situations to save Trump from the inevitable meltdown that comes with losing, or to just not concede in order to keep the peace but, many experts in parenting advise against this. In doing so, you may avoid Trump’s temper tantrum, but you will have lost democracy.
10. Refocus on activities that don’t encourage competition.
Some suggested activities that will help tone down Trump’s competitive nature include art projects that encourage teamwork. Get out the paints (or clay) with Rudy and have everyone make a mural or a sculpture together! Have Melania throw a dance party. Make a mix of Trump’s faves, then have him and his friends take turns showing off their best dance moves. Maybe Ivanka and Donald Jr. can throw a drama party where they pretend they are all on Trump’s TV series, The Apprentice, and have a fun improv show.
Parenting is tough but at some point Presidents and kids have to grow up, so providing them with the tools and understanding on how to behave when you play a game or lose an election is critical and now, Republican parents — it is critical for you to intervene on behalf of your country and it’s future.
A Citizen Parent