Hammers, Doormats & Communication
This week's Bandcamp is about communication. Somewhere between emojis and handwritten, feather-penned letters is the sweet spot for your bands most productive communication style.
So, before the next discussion on uniforms, copyrights, rehearsal start times and world conquering dreams, let me ask you a few questions. These Q's are intended, as always, to begin with you. You can't fix your band mates. You can't fix your band habits and goals and attitudes. But you can start with yourself and then build from there. Here goes:
Q. Are you willing to listen? Yeah, I know you have something to say, but so do they. Listening requires being interested. Are you?
Q. Are you echoing? Seriously, are you listening to what they are saying and then repeating back their key words, final point? This has two potent effects: first, it shows that you're listening and interested and second it clarifies what's being shared and heard as the conversation progresses. Go on, test for echo.
Q. How are you responding? Are you a hammer or a knife? Maybe you're a wet blanket or doormat? Whether you're too controlling, too harsh or too wishy-washy in your responses, one healthy aspect of communication is to ask some clarifying questions about what has been shared. Clears up some miscommunications, shows interest and builds confidence all around.
Q. What do you want to say? It's a simple question but important. Complaining, bickering, whining... even you don't want to hear this. Whether you have musical input, equipment thoughts, financial questions, travel input, direction and art and dreams and addiction and roles and, etc. know what you want to share or ask before opening your mouth.
Be clear in your input, question or comment. Clarity is key.
What are your expectations? Are you willing to meet in the middle, let it go, get shot down or let it sit for a future discussion?
Listen to their responses. Sound familiar? Seek feedback, ask clarifying follow up Q's, clarify your own position if asked (without defensiveness).
End with clarity and action. Clarify the final position(s) and set a goal: plan a final decision, do research, grab a coffee, invite more input, move forward by next Monday... whatever the next step is, make it clear.
Be proactive and positive in your next steps. And if your input was rejected, be proactive and positive in the agreed on direction - then try again with your next idea.
Listen, even the best of mates need some healthy communication guides. Ask yourself, is this band worth the time and energy of developing some better habits? No matter how cheesy or corporate, is it worth it?
Pick one aspect above and give it a try. Or make it super simple and just Listen - Echo - Share repeat.
Start with your own patient skills in communicating and grow from there.
Looking for some outside coaching and connection on communication, listening or action steps? Let's grab a virtual coffee before your next band convo.
Stay tuned for the next Bandcamp.