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Day: June 7, 2016

Personal Development Plans For Musicians

You know, there’s much more to playing music than learning scales and chops. There’s a whole other side to playing music that’s in your mind and your heart. As a musician, if you create your own personal development plans and follow them, you’ll be able to do much more than you every believed you could.

Setting Goals

This is first and foremost. You probably don’t remember, but one year ago today, you didn’t play nearly as well as you do now. You also hadn’t heard some of the music that’s influenced your playing. There were ideas out there in the universe that you couldn’t have even imagined one year ago today.

So, where would you like to be next year on this day? Nobody ever gets anywhere without setting goals. Decide what it is you’d like to achieve in the next year, and then take the steps you need to achieve it.

But, don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. This is a real confidence killer. “I want to become proficient in six more orchestral instruments in the next year.” Whoah, put on the breaks a minute! Think about what you realistically can do; take steps toward your goal, and each step along the way will be joyous and inspiring. You can do what you want, but some things take longer than others.

Keep An Open Mind

Every musician has a subconscious checklist. This checklist says, “I am this” and “I am that.” It also says, “I can do this” and “I can’t do that.”

Everybody can benefit from exploration. Get out and check out new music you’ve never heard before. If you’re a jazz player, get some hip hop records. What do you like and what don’t you like about them? What is similar and what is different? You’d be surprised how different styles of music mesh together into something else. Don’t restrict yourself.

If you’re a classical musician, go the library and check out some CDs of music from some other part of the world. If at first it sounds jarring, give it a good listen. Maybe you can bring something unique to your music from a faraway place.

Turn Mistakes Into Learning Opportunities

One thing that holds everybody back, musician or otherwise, is focusing on failure. Regret is a terrible thing. When you make a mistake, reflect on it. Think about what went wrong and how you can make it go better next time.

This is especially important with your performances. When you have a bad show, you just want to go somewhere alone and stew about it. You might want to give the whole thing up and get an office job. But, it’s really important not to think about it that way.

Whether you have a good performance or a bad performance, reflect. Think about what went well, and what went badly. What got the most audience response, and what could you maybe skip next time. This is all part of honing our performance skills.

Relax And …

Business Acumen – What is it and How Do I Get It?

During my 9 year career as in house HR, the term "business acumen" was typically applied to HR in the following ways: "Our HR department needs more business acumen" or "HR has a lack of business acumen". Inevitably, these statements would come from the company's business leaders and would there ruffle the feathers of the HR leadership team. As a result, there would be "business acumen" teachable moments in our HR all hands and often times "business acumen" would land as an HR strategic priority. The problem with trying to strengthen business acumen with these tactics is there was very little context given to the HR organization. Most comments would be centered on business acumen as being an important skill set for the HR team but no context for what it was, how to build it, or what the impact of it was. By giving the HR employees concepts with no definition or concrete frame, some individuals often struggle to pull out the pertinent pieces of information from these business acumen lessons and rarely knew how to use the information in a strategic way. To help in understanding what it is and what to do with it once you have it, read on.

To begin we must first define the concept of business acumen. Raj Charan, once said that business acumen is "… linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made – and then implementing the strategy to deliver the desired results". In essence, business acumen is the triangulation between, external pressures, internal strategy and commerce. Therefore, to ask the human resources professional to have more business acumen is really about understanding where the company is going given the external market conditions and the overall company strategy and then linking this knowledge to the impact it will have on the people component of the organization . By understanding where the company is going based on these business components, human resources can impact how quickly the organization remains ahead of the curve.

For example, we often talk about the impact of emerging competitors, but what does that mean for HR. It means being attuned to the impact this will have on the recruiting base, how we retain and compensate current employees, who in the organization might be affected, etc. In addition to being attuned, a strategy needs to emerge to address these issues quickly and effectively. What this assumes is, not only do you need to know where the overall organization is going, but also have an understanding of how it impacts the organizational structure, leadership needs, retention, staffing, etc. And then make recommendations or changes based on all this information. To start, all HR professionals need to understand and internalize their businesses and driving business needs. Below are some tips on how to gain more business acumen within your organization.

4 Steps to Improving your Business Acumen:

  • Understand your company's business model, structure, products and services. This means talking

The Importance of Apology Letters in Business

If you’ve made a mistake in your business, a verbal apology is much more difficult than a written one. In a written apology, time can be taken to chose and pick words appropriate for the situation. A written apology gives time to the recipient as well to think about the situation and respond accordingly.

If the business relationship is intimate, the approach has to be more romantic. References to the good times spent working or venturing in a project together may be included to suggest that it would be very foolish to terminate a relationship that both parties cherish.

“I am sorry” letter in business preferably should be written by the owner of the company and best accompanied by small gifts. Even if the letter is a brief one, it must specify what the apology is for. The feeling of regret and repentance must be put across very clearly.

Handwritten letters are said to work wonders in such cases. At times apologies need to be put across in a customer relationship as well. A grave mistake may be been made to a loyal customer. A smart business owner should recognize this situation and quickly write an apology letter to the customer. Failing to do so, you may not see the said customer ever again.

How about writing an apology letter for your own employee? In such cases the tone of the letter must be sympathetic as “I am sorry” might be used to communicate a termination, or rejection of a business proposal or failure to deliver a promotion.

In such cases the cause of the action has to be clearly defined to the recipient. The extent, to which letters would be effective entirely depends on the extent to which the damage has been caused. However, a note of sorry definitely reduces the discomfort caused by some offending act or behavior.…