Most team leaders go about recruiting and gathering a talented group of people around them. The benefits are obvious - it’s not only about getting the job done well but also about building the reputation of the team, which of course we hope will reflect well on us. But thrown into situations working on something unfamiliar, or working with peers we perceive to be more talented than us can be more complicated. Our confidence and performance can suffer if we are worried about being overshadowed, overlooked or overwhelmed.
I’ve been reminded of some of these fears since joining our local choir. My singing prowess is best described as having the ability to “hold a tune”, but I love singing and a little flicker of interest has grown in direct correlation with Gareth Malone’s TV career. My first “term” with the choir was spent building up to and perfecting a number of songs to perform to a packed and festive audience at the local Abbey the Saturday before Xmas. As we progressed from truly shambolic to full on performance mode, I re-learnt several principles that also apply to the workplace.
- Singing alongside people with much better voices than me has actually improved my own voice and built my confidence
- Making a mistake in a loud voice is embarrassing, but can be quickly corrected before it becomes a habit – and the best singers make mistakes too
- Practicing techniques and having the discipline to warm up and prepare really does improve performance
- Approaching a new song in bite size chunks with each section of the choir perfecting their own part may feel disjointed, but delivers results
Singing also has numerous personal benefits - regardless of how “good” you think your voice is or isn’t. I’ve listed a few from singing coach Sally Garozzo below in the hope that it might inspire you to give it a go. Or to be patient with people who are finding their voice!
- Singing increases the amount of oxygen you take into the body which increases alertness as more oxygen gets to the brain
- As you sing you improve muscle tone in the face, throat, neck and jaw, thereby promoting a youthful appearance
- Singing stimulates the thyroid gland, which helps to balance metabolism
- Like physical exercise, singing requires a level of focus and bodily activity that shifts our minds away from our usual patterns of thinking, even away from quite pressurized and stressful attitudes and so helps to calm mental “chatter”
- The process of learning to sing and singing, especially with others, dramatically increases attentive listening
- Learning to sing moves you out of your comfort zone and daily routine and a sense of achievement provides a huge boost to our self-esteem
- Singing releases natural opiates, endorphins, creating a similar effect as when we exercise
- Singing can make you cry. Singing can ignite your passions. And singing can make you laugh
- Singing creates positive energy and a happy mood and that's infectious and transparently good for those involved