#TBT Navigating Frustration

While cautious optimism is paving the road ahead, it’s worth remembering that there is no shortage of stakeholders returning who have been out of loop long for quite some time. Consequently, there could be instances of frustration flare ups after the initial warm and fuzzies surrounding being back.

In order to deal with that when it happens (not if), it’s worth taking a moment to prepare so the emotion doesn’t hit like a ton of bricks. To that end, today’s post is a pointer to something I wrote back in 2004 about an empathetic approach to seeing past anger to identify the core issue(s).

The post may be 17 years old but it’s more relevant now than ever.

Seeing Past The Anger

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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