Chris Boardman Music Blog: Consider the source

Monday, May 25, 2015

Consider the source

Consider the source when asking for opinions or advice.

When asking for someone’s opinion it is wise to remember that everyone has their own agenda. They are more concerned with themselves than with you even if they appear to be empathic. They are wrought with their own fear, insecurity, needs and wants.

Everyone has their own motives.  When motives and interests align , like teacher and student, then all is good.

But what about when we are working for or with someone else? Do your clients, competitors and peers live by some invisible altruistic guidelines?  Do your hopes and dreams magically align with theirs? In a utopian world everyone would be truthful. The reality is that not everyone tells the truth in large part because their personal truth is as elusive as yours. Try going a whole day without 1 little fib to yourself.

As artist’s we have devoted countless hours to our craft in hopes that we reach our full potential…even surpass it. If you are trying to make a living as a creative why not put the same emphasis on training ourselves about how to navigate in a business environment? I doubt you would expect to hit a home run in your first at bat nor would you walk on stage to perform a concerto without first putting in the time to prepare yourself to excel.

Communication skills that will help you in a business environment include:
  • Read body language
  • Understand the importance of tone of voice and language
  •  How you feel in the room….at the moment… in the heat of battle.
  • Confidence that you are prepared for the task.
  • Decipher exactly what is being asked of you
The more you understand about the other person’s problems the easier it will be to determine if the advice you are receiving is unbiased and helpful or, if there is a hidden agenda at play.  Are they having a bad day? Is this the way they always treat people? Is this too good to be true?

More importantly: you will know if you are the right person to solve their problem, reduce their pain.

To be sure, agendas are not always a bad thing but, the better prepared you are to read the context of the situation, understand the subtle, non-verbal communications the easier it will be to understand if a person’s needs, preferences and taste are a match with yours. 

At the point of making a decision you will have ask yourself how you feel about it. This is when you will weigh your self-growth and personal training against the opportunity being offered.
The better prepared you are in knowing what you want….the easier that choice will be.

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