Have you ever heard that saying, “someone who is nice to you but isn’t nice to the waiter, isn’t a nice person”? That saying doesn’t only apply to getting dinner. From both sides of the check-in table to both sides of the adjudicator’s desk, it is incredible how many times we could throw our hands up in the air and cry, “what is your damage?”
It is a simple fact that we cannot make everyone like us. However, we can treat people with respect more often than we do. In this final post in the subset about singer minefields, it is important that we address gossip and rudeness as the corrupting force it is in our careers.
Your 29 Days to Diva Day 24 Challenge is to be a Kind Professional.
Junior high called and wants its drama back. Let’s be honest. We all understand why we participate in gossip and rudeness. First, it provides social positioning. With very few ways for us to actually rank ourselves, how we talk about ourselves, how we talk about others, and how others talk about us acts as a guide to understanding our rank in the field.
Gossip also provides social conditioning. For example, Amy tells Susie that Kimmy showed up to rehearsal and wasn’t off book. She continues to relate the gruesome details of Kimmy getting chewed out by the director. The social conditioning is that Susie has a stronger understanding of how important it is to show up to rehearsal being off book.
We do not have to perpetuate these negative cycles.
Lazy People Gossip
“If it’s not your story to tell, don’t tell it,” suggests Iyanla Vanzant. Be brave enough to tell your stories. The best way to avoid gossip is be a genuinely interesting person. Easy, right? I simply mean that interesting people are interested people. Interested people read, listen to music, watch movies, create fascinating projects, and ask questions. That should give you millions of topics to talk about! If you find yourself constantly mired in gossip, up your conversation game pronto! Have an arsenal of conversational topics that you can use in any awkward situation that will stay away from talking poorly of other people. It is too often that we find ourselves in negative social situations only because we are too lazy to actually talk about the things we love instead.
Negativity in the Workplace
Encourage your students to speak well of their friends and schoolmates. A studio ethos is a very powerful thing. Your positive influence can flow through your students and into their lives. Furthermore, remind your students that gossip and rudeness projects insecurity and emotional immaturity. Practice saying, “I expect you to be a leader.” Can you imagine the mountains you would have moved hearing that from your teachers?
You can also be an example of how to be civil and assertive. We are in charge of making sure people understand how to talk to us. We can be honest and kind. “Telling it like it is” and “Being real” are incredibly lazy forms of feedback.
Model this behavior with your colleagues. Being positive in the workplace will only lead to better relationships and the greater likelihood of future projects. If you are feeling negative about your working environment, it is probable that your needs are not being met. Think very carefully about which needs aren’t being met. Then, decide to whom you need to talk, personally, to change those things.
Speaking of social conditioning, one of the big reasons why we gossip is to validate our own feelings. After having a negative interaction with someone, we talk to every single one of our confidants about it. Wouldn’t you feel offended by this? Isn’t that just so awful? Of course they’re going to agree — they are your friends. So, now you’ve spent more time dwelling on the issue and bringing it up to everyone within the zip code instead of just resolving the issue with the person from the negative interaction.
Be the Eye of the Storm
Every cast you are in will have a different feeling. It is important that you stay strong in your ability to create a positive work environment wherever you go. If it’s that terrible, just be the eye of the storm. You are the calm. They are the chaos. Staying true to your person and your purpose really takes the wind out of the sails of gossip and rudeness.
Let’s spread love like a boss…
Looking for a positive place to share your musical ups and downs? Check out the Sybaritic Singer Facebook page. I cannot wait to connect with you there.