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And The Band Broke Up
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Excerpts and Quotes:

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An Invitation:
Transform Conflict into Opportunity

Those of you who are or have been married may remember saying, prior to your marriage, something along the lines of, "Don't worry, after we get married, we'll work things out." Sometimes what happened was that you got married and your lawyers worked it out. In recording sessions, in which you didn't get the sound or the performance exactly as you envisioned, a producer or engineer said, "Don't worry, we'll fix it in the mix." However, if it didn't get fixed in the mix there was no option for divorce, you were married to that clam forever.

Relationships of all kinds are like jazz bands, constantly changing, improvising, and either moving forward or being stuck playing the same old riffs. In successful jazz groups musicians are listening deeply to each other - to hear what the other musicians have to say and to contribute their own voice in harmony with the others; the result is that the music reaches its fullest expression. In successful relationships we help each other in the same way.

The purpose of this book is to allow you, artists and business people alike, to spend less time being stressed and frustrated and more time being creative, artistic, fully expressive, and in harmony with everyone you work with in your music career.

Unresolved, poorly handled, and all too predictable conflicts affect people in two major areas: personal relationships and business negotiations. While a portion of this book addresses certain aspects of negotiation, most of the book deals with working relationships, our day-to-day interactions and the underlying factors that affect the ways in which we relate to each other, especially when dealing with the inevitable and inescapable issues of conflict.

The information contained in this book is applicable to anyone working in any area of the music industry. In the interest of clarity, however, most of the focus will be directed toward working musicians. The information and underlying principals apply to anybody and everybody working in the industry. If you work or perform in the music industry or any other artistic medium, we are talking to you.

In the music business, we usually associate negotiation with the contracts used in record and publishing deals, club and concert dates, manager/agent relationships, and band partnerships. While these contracts are critically important, there are other negotiations that go on continuously between the people who work together. Some of these negotiations happen openly in our daily interactions and are easily resolved. Sometimes a conflict is resolved silently in the way that we go along to get along by not responding to that conflict.

Those of you who often accommodate others silently - as when you back away from an issue that could turn into an argument - know exactly what we are writing about here. Those of you who have been the beneficiary of such accommodating behavior from others may never know that it has happened - or may not be aware that it is constantly happening.

When people agree to take responsibility for their own feelings, collaboration becomes attractive, more effective and less vulnerable to the destructive side of conflict. The tools and skills in this book will help you create more effective and satisfying working relationships by showing you how to gain respect for your needs and feelings while acknowledging the needs and feelings of others. These insights will also help you recognize those times when the conflict requires a neutral facilitator, an unbiased third party such as a mediator, to help bring it to a satisfactory resolution.

Many artists form relationships before they have fully expressed their needs and their expectations of each other and the group. As a result, they are surprised and unprepared for the conflicts that will surely arise. When you truly understand how conflict works, you will have the opportunity to face it and resolve it before the conflict causes significant damage to the relationship.

Very soon, as you read, you will encounter a list of vital questions, which we creatively call, "The Questions." These Questions have been used successfully in hundreds of negotiations and mediations; they are especially effective when a professional facilitator has met with and prepared the parties before any negotiation takes place. In the context of the music industry, this is absolutely a revolutionary concept. Most of these questions are simply never asked out loud. They may be in everybody's head but never verbalized. Why not?

Because in our culture it isn't cool! We're trained to avoid or suppress conflict - not to bring it up and risk damaging a brand new, sexy project - and we are brought up not to reveal our inner thoughts, needs and feelings, especially in regard to sensitive subjects. As a result, critical concerns do not surface early in the project or relationship. Down the road, when they do surface, serious damage occurs.

The result of this cultural pattern can be seen everywhere, in thousands of bankrupt businesses, failed bands and wasted recording projects.
We also offer ideas and exercises to make the process enjoyable as well as valuable as you expand and deepen the boundaries of your relationships. We welcome your feedback and any stories you would like to share about your experience in opening yourself up to these questions. Tell us what you have learned from this book. How did it affect you? In terms of what you were expecting, was anything left out? Were any of the issues uncomfortable to discuss with your associates? How did you handle those issues?

The Book:
(Click for scaled down, full view)And The Band Broke Up, the book
by Matt Kramer and Stuart Yahm
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