Music is a uniquely personal business. It is the language of emotion, and in order to communicate in this language, we require that other people participate. We need an audience, and very often, we also need fellow musicians. The whole thing is built on relationships, and there are few things as important to relationships as trust.
In a professional context, being trustworthy means being reliable. Doing what you say you will do, showing up on time, knowing your part so that rehearsal doesn’t have to stop while you get up to speed. Handle yourself and your emotions with integrity. Don’t fly off the handle when criticized or corrected.
Garnering trust doesn’t require being perfect; it just requires being honest and upfront about what you can do and then following through. The old adage, “under promise and over deliver,” is very good advice for building trust.
It’s much easier to make plans with trustworthy people, and the only way to get things done is to make plans. It doesn’t take much sand in the gears to throw everything off. So, hold up your end – do what you say you will do and do it with quality.
At its heart, trust is about honesty and truthfulness.
The music business can be challenging, and it can make a lot of performers desperate. There is often a mistaken feeling of lack, an idea that there are only a limited number of opportunities, and it’s every man for himself.
This isn’t true, and acting as if it is, is a sure way to lose the trust of everyone around you. Trustworthy people don’t betray others or stab them in the back in pursuit of success. As a result, people flock to trustworthy people. They build real relationships and connections – both of which are critical in an emotion dependent field like music.
The Trustworthy Performer
Finally, to build relationships and rapport with your audience, they must be able to trust you. When you get in a taxi in an unfamiliar city, you trust that the driver knows the way around. Similarly, your audience has to trust that you know your way through the emotional journey that you’re taking with them.
It’s okay to take risks and be playful – it’s wonderful, actually – but you must be certain that what you are going to do is going to work. It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect (in fact, your audience probably won’t notice if it isn’t) but you do have to arrive where you told them you were going to go. You have to provide the experience that they expect you to deliver. Like our taxi driver, it’s okay to take a trip down a scenic back road, but it’s not okay to end up out of gas in a dangerous neighborhood.
Ultimately, there is an element of trustworthiness that is out of your hands. You can act in a trustworthy way, but being deemed trustworthy is in the eye of the beholder.
No worries. Consistently show the audience that you are enjoying yourself. Display the joy and pleasure of the performance without anxiety. Stay calm, unharried, and confident, and your audience will trust that you will deliver them exactly where they want to go.
This is part of our series on the characteristics of attractive people. If you would like to hear the live discussion about this characteristic, head on over to ClassicJabber.com now.
If you are ready to learn more about how to build a profitable, fulfilling career as a performing classical musician, check out Concert University, and the free webinar that outlines 5 strategies for success.