Excerpted from the article, Five Things You Can Do to Breathe New Life into Your Program by David Jordan. Printed in the July 2016 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.
Unleash the “Power of the People”
Help people collaborate.
Collaborating will enable you to share your knowledge and work with people who can enhance what you do. The more people involved, the more skills you have access to!
Create learning experiences. We all have a desire to learn and grow, or we and the team become bored and lethargic. The best learning opportunities are experience and sharing with focus.
Your whole team will benefit from collaboration because as a result of sharing ideas and working together, they see how others think, perform and operate. This gives them a better understanding of how your specific team operates at a higher level. The skills and knowledge that each team member can pick up from others can be utilized to make improvements or enhancements to their own contribution.
Solve Problems and Innovate Faster
Team members with unique expertise and viewpoints could allow you to come up with ideas and solutions that you may not have thought of on your own at a faster pace. It allows you to Access to Skills and Strengths, you might not have known were in the room, that can help you fulfill your vision.
“If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.” Mark Twain.
Don’t talk, listen. When somebody else is talking listen to what they are saying, do not interrupt, talk over them or finish their sentences for them. Stop, just listen. When the other person has finished talking you may need to clarify to ensure you have received their message accurately.
Prepare Yourself to Listen
Focus on the speaker. Put other things out of mind. The human mind is easily distracted by other thoughts – what’s for lunch, what time do I need to leave to catch my train, is it going to rain – try to put other thoughts out of mind and concentrate on the messages that are being communicated.
Try to understand the other person’s point of view. Look at issues from their perspective. Let go of preconceived ideas. By having an open mind we can more fully empathize with the speaker. If the speaker says something that you disagree with then wait and construct an argument to counter what is said but keep an open mind to the views and opinions of others
A pause, even a long pause, does not necessarily mean that the speaker has finished. Be patient and let the speaker continue in their own time, sometimes it takes time to formulate what to say and how to say it. Never interrupt or finish a sentence for someone.
Praise the team
Celebrate achievements together. Reward the team, not an individual. Every group will have a star that excels at everything. Always speak positively about your team. Showcase their talent and recognize their dedication, efforts and successes publicly.
Sometimes it’s not easy dealing with people. But that’s what most of the world’s inhabitants are, people. When we get frustrated we too often speak right out of our…right brains, (see PS) the very emotional part, only coming to our senses after the words are out of our mouths. Oooooops. Provide recognition and rewards. These drive human behavior, and human behavior drives results. Recognition validates people, their purpose, and their life. Intangible rewards can have an even greater impact than tangible ones, but they must be relevant.
The most effective way to cultivate positivity in your organization is to acknowledge and reward the behaviors you want. I’ve found that showing gratitude every day has been a game-changer. It helps me.
When you have built a team that understands you, understands what you want from them, understands what they can really do, you will be able to communicate the meaning and beauty of your music even better.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.