Even if you are the best of friends, if you play together long enough, differences of opinion will occur.
In these Articles we will explore the following:
- Useful methods to deal with conflict.
- The main causes of conflict among band members.
- Organisational structures that can help stop conflict arising.
Useful Methods To Deal With Conflict
Before we explore some of the common conflicts arising between band members, let’s learn a little about conflict resolution.
Being part of a band is like being part of a family and just about all of us have experience of that.
A family has its ups and downs, including difficult relationships, and some families deal with this better than others.
Just take a moment now and think about how conflict was dealt with in your family.
- Did you fight it out?
- Argue, agreeing to disagree or just disagreeing?
- Sit down and talk and resolve the issue?
- Bury the problem and not talk?
- Wait until many issues built up and explode?
Your personal experience of conflict in your family, what you have seen and experienced, will colour the way you are able to deal with conflict in your personal and professional adult life.
After all, if we only know one way to deal with conflict, we have no choice but to use that way of dealing with it.
But here are some other suggestions that can actually lead to resolving conflict without negative results:
Instead of fighting to get your way, see if you can negotiate another completely different option so that both parties get what they want.
For example, you may be arguing over a particular part of a song arrangement.
Is it possible to change that part of the song so that both ideas are incorporated?
It may not be possible, however, if it is, you may just come up with a better song than you had before.
Give other ideas a go and be flexible. It really can’t hurt to try other people’s suggestions.
Even if you think those suggestions won’t work, there is no need to worry because it will always become obvious what feels right in the music anyway.
Find Out What Each Party Really Needs
Often the cause of conflict is misunderstandings brought about by the way we interpret each other’s body language and speech.
In many circumstances arguments arise and snowball because we don’t take the time to step out of being in a reactive frame of mind or certain gestures trigger older memories of conflict within us.
If you feel this may be happening, or two or more parties are just arguing around in circles, try to step out of this frame of mind and clarify exactly what each party is looking for or needing at that point in time.
That way you have a starting point from which to take action.
In almost every case, everyone can have their needs met if they state what they need in a civil, calm and clear way.
Compromises may have to be made but that’s ok if it saves ill feeling and can keep your band ticking over.
Try To See The Benefits Of The Opposite Point Of View
Ok, this may be difficult but again it can’t hurt to look at what may be gained by taking the opposite point of view.
Think About What People May Object To When You Introduce A New Idea
If you want to suggest something to the Band you think they may not like, or have opposition to, try to think about what they may not like about your idea and address those views when you introduce the idea.
That way, the other members know you are aware of, and value, their opinions.
Make Extra Efforts Not To Undermine Morale
As stated before, it’s so important to communicate calmly and clearly.
Blaming, criticising and complaining do sour the feeling of the group.
Avoid these at any cost by using some of the above suggestions.
We Are All Different
I know this may be an obvious statement but it’s important to remember no-one sees the world as you do and vice versa.
If you bear this in mind, you can avoid jumping to conclusions about what or how someone else is thinking.
Avoid assumptions and clarify everything.
Just because you may make a certain conclusion about something, it doesn’t mean that other people will make that same conclusion or see things the same way.
Differences are what make a Band truly original.
Respect and honour those differences and you truly have a chance at making your Band a great working environment where everyone feels valued and included.
If the feeling between members of your band is good, it creates better energy and therefore better music.
In the next part of this Series we will explore some common points of conflict in Bands and how we may apply some of these suggestions.
I hope you have enjoyed this Article and if you have any comments, please leave them below.
Oh, and just for fun, a little clip illustrating how not to manage your band by Spinal Tap. Enjoy!