We have all heard this rule a million times: “Do unto others as you would have done to you,” it states. While this is a great rule of thumb, it focuses only on what you do. We can do lots of things that are nice for other people, but can we be nice to other people? I would like to ‘up the ante’ so to speak and push it further. I realize this may be splitting hairs but one can do a lot of things, yet it can be much harder to be something on a daily basis. If you have ever heard someone say, “well, that was my good deed for today,” then you have seen a shining example of someone doing something nice but not actually being a nice person. In the music industry, there are many people who shroud themselves in a fake mystique that seems cool (and they might even appear like they are doing good things) from the outside, but up close, it is very thin and distasteful. Regardless of whether you are playing bar gigs or stadiums, this behavior has no place in the industry. Would you want to work with/be friends with someone who behaves this way? If not, then be the type of person that you would want to work with and be around. Here are some tips to help:
- Be friendly even when there is nothing in it for you
It is very easy to be warm and fuzzy when you are gaining something from the interaction with another person. In those situations, we tend to put our best foot forward and try to be smooth to win hearts and minds in the hopes of our efforts being rewarded in some way. While there are times when selling yourself is important, if you maintain a kind, friendly demeanor on a daily basis already (Coffee shop, grocery store, with the neighborhood kids), then there won’t be any need to “put on a face” when you really need to be nice because you will already be that kind of person naturally.
- Be approachable
Nearly everyone in the music industry has run across someone who is not approachable. It’s awkward to be around and make everyone else feel standoffish. Be someone who people can talk to and relate to. Hang out after the concert and chat with the folks that came. Carry yourself everyday in such a fashion that makes people want to come talk to you. (Note: Limiting the amount of time that you are publicly on your phone can also help make you come across as more approachable. Most people will be less inclined to approach you if all they ever see is the top of your head.)
- Be real
No one likes a pretender. Personally, I’m not into sugar-coating tactics either. Be honest and forthcoming. If you like something, then say you like it. If you don’t like something, then say you don’t. If you are honest on a daily basis with the folks you are around and the people you come into contact with, your relationships (both personal and professional) will thrive because of it. People will be able to trust you and you won’t have to undergo the stress of having to put up a front, which will ultimately turn people away.
Do you have other thoughts on how to “be” the kind of person that you would want to work with? Please share them in the comment section!