Thursday, June 5, 2014

Corporate Choirsters

Why and how I learnt more about team work as part of my office choir than I did from my day job. (And why it pays when companies invest in their people)

I've been interviewing a lot lately. And as a part of this preparation I ask myself all kinds of questions from my CV. My husfriend told me to also look at the 'Extra' section and be ready to talk about it. The 'Extra' bit is the bit we think no one reads or cares about. The bit in the end with your hobbies and extra curricular activities.

I looked there and right on top I'd added a line about being part of the Office Choir and winning runners up in the Office choir of the year contest. What did I learn from here? I wondered. And realised I learnt a lot more about 'team work' than from my regular day job!

A few things that really struck me:

Cliche alert: There is no ME in team.. How many times I've cringed when I heard that. But in the choir it cant be more true! If the audience can hear your voice above the others, it means you are doing something very wrong. Harmony is the keyword here.

Everyone has their place, and unless you give a 100% nothing of value will come out of your effort. A Soprano cannot sing both their and the Alto parts together. Each person has a skill, a strong point and they play on it and trust the others to do their bits. Listen to each other, know exactly where to come in, if not you have one ear shattering mess.

Your ego has no place in a team- or a choir. Especially being an office choir where none of us were professional singers, there were some of us who were trained from a very young age, some of us who could not read music. Some of us were there with an agenda- to win against all odds, some of us were there for the experience, just to have fun. It didn't matter if you were an Alpha personality or a wallflower, you cant shine alone nor can you fade away in the background. You have to swallow your pride and be willing to learn. You have to remind yourself not to be overbearing and demanding of others. There had to be a halfway point, where we all came together, irrespective of our agendas or personalities.

In a group of almost 20 musically inclined people there will be creative differences. Its what we do with these differences that determine whether we sink or swim.

In the end we won, together, as a team and I couldn't be more proud!

Click here for the highlights of our 'teamwork'