AS A professional musician, I have picked up some useful skills. These skills not only allow me to do my job better but also enrich my life.
As a musician, it is not just about how good an instrumentalist you are, but how well you can interact with other people.
These skills are transferable because they are purely interpersonal. Communication is at the heart of music, and music is a collective language. So, it is vital everyone gets that bit right. As H.E. Luccock said: “You can’t whistle a symphony; it takes an orchestra to play it.”
Miscommunication is at the root of most interpersonal issues, particularly in the professional world. With the exception of people like my mother who is a nurse, most of our jobs are generally not of life-threatening importance.
You provide products and services to improve people’s lives. You are there to make a difference, whether you are providing technology solutions, education or even consumer products.
Everyone wants their lives to be enriched while enriching others. But it’s not always a simple journey. You can’t choose your colleagues, but you have to spend most of your lives working with them. You pride yourself as professional, and you keep your personal life outside the office. So interpersonal isn’t really personal, it’s professional. With that in mind, let’s talk about “inter-professional” relationships.
Your challenge at work is to provide the best solution for your customer while ensuring the growth of your organisation. There is not always only one way to achieve your goal, and it is definitely going to take a team to get there.
Keeping this in mind, you need to think less with your emotions and more with your rational mind. If you can apply rational thinking to problem-solving, you can look at all your challenges objectively.
If your team members are all thinking this way, then your work becomes less about your personal expectations and more about working for the greater good. Instead of asking yourself “how can I make my life easier?” or “how can I move this project along quickly?”, think “what will benefit our customer?” or “what will help sustain the growth of our organisation?”
By simply shifting your priorities to a professional perspective, you will also free yourself of an emotional connection with business and help create a more harmonious and inter-professional environment. People solve problems rationally and enjoy the thousands of hours they spend together.
Musicians have some of the most effective inter-professional relationships, simply because the service they provide is solely dependent on their ability to function as a team.
Their audience is only concerned with one piece of music, regardless of how many musicians it takes to perform it. The musicians have to be in tune musically and emotionally, and their customers do not like it when they’re not in harmony.
Off the bandstand, they may be the worst enemies, but when they perform they are like a family. They are connected and thinking like one. They are in the moment, and they are in the music.
They have an inter-professional connection that is independent of their interpersonal relationship. The music cannot be performed by one musician alone, so they focus on aligning their vision. They compromise for the good of the audience and for the growth of the orchestra. They fine-tune every thought.
If everybody thinks like an orchestra, they would be able to perform beautiful music together. They are, after all, prodigies in their own right. But the musician in you cannot flourish without the support of your team, so to increase and expand your own possibilities, you need to develop your inter-professional relationships, and remember, you can’t whistle a symphony!