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The art of communication

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by NickyBass, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I don't post in band management very often, but I have purused some of the threads here. It seems to me that a lot of the issues that arise can be resolved simply with open and honest communication. Bad news is a little bit easier to swallow when one is treated with respect. It is best to deal with a conflict head on, and have a clean resolution where everything is clearly defined and there is no room for mis-inturprutation.

    Now, that isn't to say that some people don't let their emotions take over, even if they have been given the respect of an in-person discussion...but I have found that it is easier to deal with all the issues at once. The other person will eventually calm down and will most likely still have respect for you. Especially when the alternative is going behind their back to find a replacement.

    I have had to fire a few people, and it is never easy. I usually lead with something like "I wanted to give you the respect that you deserve by talking to you in person."

    I think this thread could be a good place for us to share tips and ideas on how to communicate with others.
  2. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    I agree.

    Being straight up about things and taking care of problems early on minimizes the chances of the complete blow out. For example if guitar guy has a thing for noodling between songs and the band doesn't say anything about it, it doesn't help the situation if you wait and let it fester to point where you just suddenly start screaming at him out of the blue about it.

    There will always, always, be those guys that "just don't get it" even if you try to talk to them, but the music scene is insestuous and how you handle the situation WILL get around. If people find out that you did give the guy a chance to "fix it" before firing him, and he didn't, then your band will be better respected for the firing. He'll probably still call you names but he'll know that you DID give him a chance and that he didn't choose to accept it.
  3. JakeF


    Apr 3, 2012

    A strong level headed band leader makes everything smoother.

    Of course we musicians never run into/become insecure passive aggressive control freaks. Honestly I believe it is these neurosis that attract many of us to music. It is a world where it is socially acceptable and even expected to be a screw up.

    My biggest advice is something I learned when I was becoming very successful as a sound person in a previous life. The ability to follow a cue sheet and not drool on it made me quite the desirable asset. Anyway, in theater, after a show they would give "performance notes." I realized this is a great idea to let everyone vent.

    Something else I read about was regarding coaching little league sports teams. NEVER criticize after a game cause it is time to celebrate. Wait a couple of days and then mention things you can work on.

    I combined these two.

    After shows/weekends we would EACH write up performance notes for each other and email them (if we felt like it). Rehearsal was the same principle though they were typically done at the end of rehearsal. If we got hung up on a song more than a couple of times we would simply skip to the next one and make a note. When you have everyone listening and working on anything you criticize band becomes a far safer place.
  4. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Transparency, Transparency, Transparency. and…

    Make sure the paradigm in your group is clear cut and universally understood. Is there a bandleader/bandleaders who is/are the bottom line? Is this an equal partnership? How was everyone recruited? Where are people making their contributions? Are there unilateral decisions being made when consultation should have happened, etc. These are all necessary questions to ask about your project or band. Do you have meetings outside of rehearsal to talk/plan/air grievances/lauds? That can also be very important.
  5. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    love this!

    Also, own your comments and opinions: be able to support your opinion with an example, and have a solution proposal.
  6. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    I've been thinking a lot about communication also. Both at work and in personal matters. So much of our world is people not saying the things they need to say, to the people they need to say them to.
    But it is more complex than just speaking up. You have to really know what your message is, and then successfully convey it. The second part is more layered than appears. Words used are only one component.
    If people are frustrated, communication is essentially violent, which pretty much always distorts what one is saying into something else entirely.
  7. JakeF


    Apr 3, 2012
    I'm totally with you. The ability to LISTEN and not give input is difficult, even more so for us men. People hear what they want.

    Something I found that has helped is to replace the word "THINK" with "FEEL." This works better for me as it forces emotional honesty and I don't lawyer words so much. It also means I don't have to be right about things. Realizing being right or tough is NOT essential to being powerful is another something that is hard to articulate but has also helped.

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