#TBT Put A Little Civility Back In Your Life

With Baltimore Symphony’s will-they, won’t-they deadline next week there is no shortage of commentary flying around the culture blogosphere. To that end, today’s #TBT reaches back to a post from September 2012 that examines how to productively engage in online discussion.

In hindsight, it is borderline ironic that we’re reaching back to something espousing the merits of civility amid the age of gaslighting and tribal identities. If nothing else, it demonstrates things only degraded from that period and if we’re going to improve, it must be a concerted effort.

Fortunately, everything from the 2012 article is just as poignant today as it was then.

As an aside, this post also contains one of my personal favorite lists: avoiding the seven deadly sins of culture blog discussion.

It’s Time For Your Civil Discourse Recertification

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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