How To Deal With Conflicts In A Band
Are you in a tough situation among band members or musicians you work with? The first step is to address everyone as a group to ensure that all voices are heard.
Experiencing Band Conflicts?
Music has a way of bringing us all together - people from all walks of life can find a commonality in music. Unlikely friendships can form, and it's all great, right? Well, not always. While the closeness that music can bring about can feel almost magical, the reality of personal relationships isn’t always so rosy. There can be some personal challenges that band members may need to overcome.
As with any group of people, internal politics, conflicts, and disagreements are always going to be inevitable. Bands, unfortunately, are no exception to this. It's important to remember that it's totally normal. However, you must still learn how to overcome these obstacles so that you and your band can continue to make awesome music.
Identify The Root Of The Problem
The first step is to determine the source of the problem. Does it come down to money? Creative direction? Personal issues? Something else? The aforementioned issues are common in bands, and they usually have solutions. These issues can create many problems, including inflated egos, difficulty balancing priorities, and scheduling conflicts. Once you identify the root problem, you're halfway there to solving it!
Tackle It Together As A Group
If an unwanted problem is becoming more and more common, it's best to address it as a group so that everyone's voice can be heard. To ensure that everyone feels welcome in the process, make sure that your band members all have a set schedule to follow, a budget, and the means to communicate with everyone else. That way, should any issue arise band members will be able to speak up about it. And remember, if you have any suggestions then don't be shy about it! If you think the band needs more structure, say it! Band members should feel safe making suggestions that could improve the group as a whole.
Is Compromise A Good Thing?
But what about compromising? Isn't that a valid strategy for keeping the band together? While it can be ok to compromise on the little things, doing this too often can easily make things get worse. A band member might be exceptionally stubborn and double down on their bad behavior. Compromising could also harm the integrity of the entire group.
Possible Solutions To Band Conflicts
In both of the above cases, action will need to be taken. Here's an example. If one band member is always late to rehearsals or doesn't pay their fair share, then that’s when you should take drastic action. After all, this sort of delinquency can damage the integrity of the entire group. There are a number of possible solutions that you could choose to address these problems:
-set higher standards for acceptable conduct
-lay out the rules and consequences of repeated rule-breaking
-consider letting that person off the hook
Letting someone off the hook isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as they were confronted about the problem, and they promise to change their behavior. The important thing is to hold everyone accountable for their actions. If they aren't held responsible, you'll only continue to see the issues in your band increase.
Consider Appointing A Peacemaker
If your band is going through a lot of problems, repeat offenses, etc., then you'll want to consider appointing someone in your group as a peacemaker or decision-maker. While this won't be necessary for every band, for some bands, it can help tremendously in cutting down on petty, trivial or divisive behavior or disagreements. A peacemaker can, at times, be the sole voice of reason in a group that has been overcome by emotion. In this position, a decision-maker can make the best decisions to resolve problems quickly and efficiently; that way, you and the band can quickly get back to the task at hand.
Agree To Disagree
If none of this works, it's better to "agree to disagree." This might not be the outcome you hoped for, but sometimes this is the only solution if you don't want things to get blown out of proportion. That can easily lead to a permanent fracturing and splitting of the group.
You might think this sounds like strange advice for a band to follow, but professionalism applies to musicians as well (which is what you are). Try to keep a mindset of professionalism at all times. Look at your band more like a business and try not to see everything through the lens of personal relationships. Thinking this way will help you to put your emotions aside.
In business, one must set their emotions aside and approach problems from a rational point of view. That kind of approach is crucial to dealing with people whom we've formed close personal relationships with.
Nobody wants to think about conflicts and fights with their close friends. But for you and your band to flourish, this is a necessity. Every successful group has experienced disputes along the road to fame. Their successes largely depended on how they dealt with these challenges. To overcome these conflicts, you must be willing to do so in the first place. You should also know how to prevent issues from arising again in the future.
To deal with conflicts in your band, make sure that you follow each of the points below:
-create a schedule
-create a culture of trust
-make communication between band members easier
-hold every band member accountable
-consider appointing a designated leader or peacemaker
-as a last resort, consider cutting the offending member from the group
-no matter what, problems must be dealt with one way or the other
You're a musician. As a musician, you have the power to prevent your band from falling apart. Understand this simple truth and take proactive action today.