How to Spot the 4 Communication Styles: An Essential Leadership Skill

I used to get offended when I received short emails from my friends.  In response to my suggestion of “Let’s meet for lunch tomorrow,” I would get “Can’t” or “Sure” or “Where?”.  This used to drive me crazy because I am someone who likes to provide context for my emails, as well as find out what is going on with …

Validation: A Great Way to Head Off Conflict and Preserve Your Relationships

This week, the topic of validation has come up a lot in my client sessions both in business and in personal contexts. Validation is an essential communication and relationship skill since it is one of the best ways around to avoid conflict. 

Validation looks like this.  Suppose you and your partner (be it a business or a romantic partner) are talking about a sensitive issue.  The two of you do not necessarily agree.  Yet, rather than fan the flames, you can open the other person up to further discussion by validating his feelings:

 

 “Well, based on your situation, no wonder you feel that way.  I would like to share my viewpoint.  Let’s brainstorm together on what we can do about this.”

Networking for Musicians: How to Get Started

So now you get it:  networking is the way to go if you want to expand your reach and create opportunities that can lead you to career success based on a mutual exchange of information, resources and contacts. You understand that networking is about connecting with, sharing and being relevant to others.  You have your Elevator Speech.  You are eager …

The Power of Branding for Musicians: Connecting Your Purpose with Your Ideal Audience

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop on Personal Branding for Composers in connection with the American Composers Orchestra’s Underwood New Music Readings and the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Readings.  The room was filled with both classical and jazz composers who were eager to learn how to get their music out there and create opportunities for themselves.  The magic of this workshop was an evolution from skepticism to embracing the power of a brand as a tool of helping composers to advance their careers by working smarter, not harder.

The Power of Flow

I recently presented a workshop on Peak Positive Performance Strategies at a new festival sponsored by the Manhattan School of Music for Amateur Chamber Musicians.  This was a wonderful opportunity for me to share some techniques on overcoming performance anxiety based on my own personal experience as an amateur pianist and chamber musician, as well as my professional experience coaching …

Input: When does it all come together so that you can figure out your career path?

There is a strength called Input.  It comes from the Gallup Strengths Assessment called StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Input is the way someone learns and uses knowledge and information. People who are strong in input collect information and call it up when they need it.  Input people enjoy learning in order to use the information.  They will read enough to get the idea and store it away, as opposed to learners who are fascinated with the process of learning and will delve into things deeply.

Input is a strength because input people tend to make interesting and novel connections between seemingly disparate pieces of information.

I know this strength well because it is one of my top strengths.   I find that a lot of my clients have this strength as well.

The Master Mind Group Retreat: Another “Must” for Successful Entrepreneurs

Last weekend, I hosted a retreat for my Master Mind Group.   The weekend was yet another example of the importance of support in creating success (like the personal board of directors of which I am such a fan), as well as in the magical synergy that occurs when a group of like-minded people get together and work towards a common goal.  The concept has been successfully used by small business owners, as well as musicians, artists and writers.  Just do a quick Google search for “Master Mind Group” plus your particular profession and you will easily find dozens of resources!

Connecting with your Target Audience: The “Aha” Moment for Music Entrepreneurs

One of the hallmarks of personal branding is knowing who your target audience is.   A target audience is an essential piece of information for branding and marketing, both of which are skills that the effective music entrepreneur needs under his or her belt.  At my recent Branding and Marketing Class at the Yale School of Music, our budding music entrepreneurs embraced the concept of knowing your ideal, target audience as a way of authentically connecting with the people they most want to work with.

Play to Your Strengths–Literally–to Feel Self-Mastery and Fulfillment

I advocate playing to your strengths instead of compensating for weaknesses as a way of creating self-mastery and empowerment in your life.  Helping my clients to recognize and use their strengths is one of the hallmarks of my coaching and my teaching. Recently, I had this very experience in a domain that is near and dear to my heart-my piano playing.  See how I learned the different between playing to my strengths and struggling to overcome my weaknesses.

Hope Springs Eternal: How to Change Your Perspective of Your Difficult Situation

Last week, I had the privilege of conducting a class on life balance for the medical residents at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  The class is part of a wonderful program that the medical school runs called “Advancing Idealism in Medicine”.  The goal of the class is to prevent residents from “burning out” on the job.  I was asked to …