Category Archives: Inspiration

The Competition’s Over – Now What?

Check out the article I wrote that is printed in the latest SAI Pitchpipe and be sure to  bookmark it for future reference – you will need it!

The Competition’s Over – Now What Pitchpipe Feb 2014

Cheers,

Jan

Jan Carley, Inner Coach of Barbershop

http://www.innercoachofbarbershop.com

jan@innercoachof barbershop.com

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Interference Management – What’s your level of mastery?

The only thing predictable in any SAI competition is the unpredictable. Despite our best efforts to reduce and eliminate all external interference, it is rare that we get through any competition experience without some unplanned occurrence.

The salient difference-maker when confronted with the inevitable interference (you know what I mean – buses late, traffic patterns bunching up, a suddenly ill chorus member) is not the interference itself, but how you handle the interference.  We cannot control circumstances, we can only control our reaction to those circumstances. We are the only thinkers in our own minds. Developing an A+ level of Interference Management Mastery will positively influence your performance experience and results.  

I had the fascinating volunteer job of working in the traffic pattern at our recent Regional competition and got to witness first-hand the varied mental state of all of the directors and choruses in the warm-up area after they experienced delays in the traffic pattern.  

Leaders:  When you do your competition planning, consider your mindset mastery level. Prepare your reaction to the inevitable interferences because your chorus will follow your modeling example.  Pre-plan the ways that you will refocus and support your chorus to refocus so that it becomes second nature.   Acknowledge the interference,  and make the choice then to let that interference go.  Take the lead in communicating with and encouraging your chorus members to do the same.

How does the need to be perfect get in your way?

I love the following quote by George Benson. It’s a wonderful reminder that no one cares if you make a mistake. However, it’s our fear of making a mistake that robs us from experiencing our true potential and making the deepest musical connections with our audiences. 

“The greatest thing I think that happened to me was, one day I heard a record by the number one guitarist of all time, Andre Segovia, and some place in this classical concerto…he made a little bobble. And I said, ‘Andre Segovia made a mistake! If he can make a mistake, who the heck am I? Who cares whether I make a mistake?’ So I played with reckless abandonment, didn’t worry about mistakes any more. Best thing that could ever happen to me ’cause if you worry about the music, you can’t do it with conviction. So I stopped worrying about it and now I have a career that I never imagined.”
–George Benson, in an interview with Aamer Haleem (CTV Morning Live, May 2012)

In our barbershop art form  it is easy to get trapped into solely focusing on technical mastery which can hugely limit our vocal freedom , emotional expression and possibilities for true connections with our audiences. Do you ever hold back, or limit yourself out of fear of making a mistake? I welcome your comments here.

Goodbye carrots and sticks

It’s a frequent topic of discussion with many chorus leadership teams – How do we motivate members to show up?  To pass their qualifications sooner?  To learn their music earlier?  To take personal responsibility?  

Most of us in the mid-life age bracket grew up with the common “Carrot and Stick” motivational method of reward and punishment wherein good behavior was rewarded, and poor behavior was punished. We, in turn, frequently use that technique in our role as leaders to motivate others, still confused by why chorus members don’t step up to the plate and consistently take personal responsibility.

Motivating by fear may work in the short-term, however, the negative  emotional effects of a “Carrot and Stick” approach on individuals and the chorus culture are significant.  And the use of rewards as a motivational technique can actually serve to undermine one’s self-motivation, thus reducing the possibility of one taking personal responsibility.

Carrots and Sticks are so last century”, says Daniel H. Pink, in his brilliant new book, DRIVE – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Pink refers instead to 3 essential elements of true motivation (autonomy, mastery and purpose) that connect to create the most powerful form of motivation of all – intrinsic motivation – that which comes from within.

Pink says thattraditional ‘if-then’ rewards can actually give us less of what we want and can serve to diminish performance and crush creativity.”

I highly recommend Pink’s book to anyone in a leadership position.  

Cheers,

Jan Carley, Inner Coach of Barbershop www.innercoachofbarbershop.com

author, Harmony from the Inside Out  www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

I love this diagram (used with permission from Jessica Hagy’s  brilliant Facebook blog “Indexed”).  It is such a simple illustration of one of the most fundamental points to consider as a performer.  Houston Competitors:  Let’s all take some risks and step outside our comfort zone!!!  See you on stage!

Jan Carley, Inner Coach of Barbershop

http://www.innercoachofbarbershop.com

Motivation vs. Inspiration

“You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire underneath them but by building a fire within.”  – Bob Nelson, author and motivational speaker

Directors and Leaders: How do you approach the final weeks before competition?  How do you build and keep the momentum necessary for your group to achieve their peak performance onstage?

“Motivation is an external, temporary high that PUSHES you forward. Inspiration is a sustainable internal glow which PULLS you forward.” – Thomas Leonard

Do you motivate or inspire?  I would love to hear your comments here!

-Jan Carley, Inner Coach of Barbershop www.innercoachofbarbershop.com  

Author, Harmony from the Inside Out – Creating and Living your Performance Potential

Harmony from the Inside Out at Men’s International

Heading to Kansas City? Be sure to pop by Harmony Marketplace and pick up a copy of the book barbershoppers are raving about – Harmony from the Inside Out. Directors and chorus members world-wide are embracing the principles in this popular book.  

Harmony from the Inside Out comprehensively outlines how to add the Inner Coaching piece to your barbershop toolbox not only to leverage successful competition results, but also to shift your chorus culture to one of possibility and positivity.  

Clay Hine (AVP, A Mighty Wind): “The more I see what incredible results Jan’s program produces, the more convinced I am of how important her book is to any ensemble’s success.”

Tom Metzger (REALTIME, Groupanizer) “Jan’s book cuts through the usual superficial acceptable wisdom and gets right to the fundamental causes of success and failure. Stop rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic – read this book.”

Sandy Marron (Master 700 director of the SAI 2010 International Silver Medalists, Lions Gate Chorus): “These inner coaching principles will positively change you and your chorus culture (or any team you might work with) forever”

Lisbet P. Kline (Director, Song of the Valley Chorus) Your book made the difference for my chorus this year for contest. In spite of using the Art of Possibility approach by Ben Zander for years, they for the first time were able to take what they are capable of onto the stage, and we improved 40 points to become the second most improved chorus.”

On Sale at HARMONY MARKETPLACE, or On Line at www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com 

Bulk Sales for choruses – please email jan@innercoachofbarbershop.com

Best of luck to all competitors!

Cheers,

Jan Carley, The Inner Coach of Barbershop www.innercoachofbarbershop.com

Author, Harmony from the Inside Out www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com