Tips, Videos, Handouts

Win with grace

Most of us are taught to “lose with grace.” In this video on the street in the early morning light, Craig tells us it’s just as important to “win with grace.” Moving on from a win or a loss, with acceptance and respect for “the other guys,” builds peace and creativity over the long run.


This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hey everybody. Hi it’s Craig Freshley here. Good morning! I’m on my Maine Street here in Brunswick and I want to talk a little bit about how to win with grace.

You know, sometimes groups are in conflict and that conflict is resolved by everybody coming into agreement. The adversaries understand each other and they come to a solution that you might call win-win. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes a conflict is resolved by a vote or a higher authority imposing a decision, such as a judge, and in that situation there are winners and there are losers.

Now I was taught from the time that I played Little League baseball to lose with grace. And that means when you lose the game, you don’t complain about the refereeing. You don’t call the other team cheaters and that’s how they won. You accept the loss and you move on. In fact, you give the winners credit.

Well, I’ve come to appreciate that you can also win with grace. And what does that look like? Same kind of thing; you accept and move on. You give the losers credit and you don’t make them feel even worse than they already do about losing. You could say things like, “Ah, you guys never had a chance,” or “Told you so,” or other trash-talk to make them feel bad about losing. But that doesn’t actually help in the long run.

Look, high functioning groups are in it for the long run. We want to make peace and creativity over the long run rather than escalate conflict over the long run.

One of two things will happen if you don’t win with grace; if you trash talk the losers. Either they’re going to be even more determined to conflict harder the next time, or another thing that might happen is that they’ll walk away. You know, when somebody puts their heart into a battle and they lose and then they don’t feel accepted, they’re going to feel rejected, and you are going to miss the benefit of their contributions over the long run.

So winning with grace means accepting the losers even though they lost, not making a big thing of it, and moving on peacefully over the long run.

Thanks for listening everybody. I hope that you make good decisions out there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *