Recently, the BBC transformed into a reality TV show. By accident.
Robert Kelly, an expert on East Asian affairs, was conducting a breaking news interview with the BBC from his home office when his two young children decided to interrupt, transforming the run-of-the-mill news broadcast into a hilarious reality show in five seconds flat. Think one dancing little girl, one baby in a walker, one frantic mom and Kelly, who attempted to retain some semblance of professionalism while on the air with real life playing in the background, and you’ve got the right idea.
More than 20 million people have watched the hilarious replay on YouTube and have since become Kelly’s raving fans. Because he, like the rest of us, is just another dad trying to make a living while loving his family.
Here are four lessons work-from-home parents can learn from this BBC snafu.
1. It’s okay to be imperfect.
Yesteryear’s professional culture left very little room for authenticity. There was a hard line between your business and personal life. Today’s professional culture is different. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 43 percent of Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely last year. Knowing that, employers, colleagues and clients are beginning to accept real life will show up on occasion. Besides, authenticity is en vogue, perhaps because it gives all of us the chance to breathe deeper knowing we’re not the only ones that don’t have it 150 percent together 24/7. And that’s okay.
2. An occasional interruption does not equal the end of your career.
Kelly confessed to fearing he wouldn’t be asked back by BBC after his snafu. Yet the BBC had no such thought. In fact, within 15 minutes of receiving Kelly’s apology letter, the network requested permission to share the hilarious footage, which has since become a viral sensation. Furthermore, the BBC conducted a follow-up interview with Kelly and his family, that has attracted almost 4 million additional views. It appears the BBC has no complaints, and let’s face it — they know funny when they see it.
3. The more you roll with it, the better off you’ll be.
As a work-from-home parent, you will be interrupted. It’s just the way it is. You can choose to flip out or you can choose to roll with it. The latter will serve you better.
Look at Kelly, who maintained his cool (for the most part) in the middle of the interview, despite the chaos behind him. Also, be mindful of how he showed up in the follow-up interview, with his daughter banging a plastic hammer, his fussy baby and his superhero wife, Kim Jung-A, living real life before our eyes. It’s inspired parents around the world to share their adoration for this family that does real life so well.
4. Your family is not your inconvenience.
Did you notice how Kelly intentionally took full responsibility for not locking the door during the interview, rather than blaming his wife for allowing the children in? And did you notice how he said she deserved a medal for her heroic efforts trying to remove the children from the room without causing more disruption during the broadcast? This is a man who clearly loves and protects his family. The world would be a better place if we were all more like that.
If you’re a work-from-home parent for any amount of time, you’ll undoubtedly experience your own version of the BBC snafu in the not-too-distant future. The question is, how will you handle it?