What We Can Learn From Steve Harvey

As someone who has a career in TV and radio, I felt bad for Steve Harvey on Sunday night. Harvey, as we all know, announced the wrong winner at the Miss Universe Pageant. I’ve been dubbing it the “awkwardness-heard-round-the-world”, because that’s truly how it felt, awkward.

I’ve been in TV and radio for over 5 years now and I’ve mispronounced words, butchered names, and even just plain said the wrong thing. Being on camera, whether your reporting, hosting, or even just a guest being interviewed is not as easy as it looks. Many many many times I’ve been casually chatting with a guest who is nonchalant about being on air, only to have that same person freeze up once the cameras are on and rolling. I would never wish for anyones slip-up on-air, but it goes to show you that some times something that looks easy doesn’t translate into being easy.

I felt especially bad for Harvey because I know how hard hosting can be at times, particularly hosting a LIVE event, when the convenience of a re-take is not available. What really makes me cringe is hearing people bash Harvey or call into question his extremely successful career over one mistake.

Criticizing people for their mistakes is the easy thing to do, but it’s not the right thing to do. Wise is the person who learns from their mistakes, but who also learns from the mistakes of others. This is what we can learn from Steve Harvey:

No matter how long you’ve been doing something, no matter how many accolades you have and how well-known you are amongst your peers…

You’re going to make mistakes

Steve Harvey has been in the business for over 30 years. He has hosted numerous successful TV and radio shows, written many best selling books and won numerous awards including three Emmys..and he’s still making mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable to all of us, no matter our skill level, or how much time we’ve put in.

Own up to it

In the broadcasting world your mistakes are more times than not seen by many other people. In other jobs you can quietly make a mistake and only a few people (or maybe even no one) has to know about your slip-up. It’s tempting to try to brush a mistake under the rug, but not being afraid to admit your mistakes shows character and humility, not only that but it humanizes you. If you’re willing to admit a mistake it also encourages others around you to follow your example when they also make mistakes.

Applogize to those effected

Perhaps the most important step is always apologizing. Everything mentioned above is negated if you do not take the final step and apologize to the people you’ve effected. Sometimes it’s only one person, sometimes, it’s the entire world. Whoever it is, they need a sincere and honest apology. Use your apology as a way to admit once again that you made a mistake. Be genuine and be honest about it. Yesterday Harvey took to all his social media sites to publicly apologize to both Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines. Not only did he apologize but he also asked for forgiveness.

Yes, Steve Harvey made a huge and awkward mistake that the entire world got to witness, but he handled it with humility and for that he is to be admired.


What are your thoughts on Harvey’s mistake?


  • Good lord, based on the reaction to this you’d think no one has ever made a mistake in the history of the world before. I think you own up to it, apologize, and move on. Both the person who makes the mistake and the rest of the world.

    • carrie

      I couldn’t agree more Steph. You would have thought the guy was in the street kicking kittens by the amount of outrage.