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Author Topic: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)  (Read 147 times)

Jen

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Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« on: September 10, 2017, 05:32:22 pm »
I had a short hiatus from music callings, but I'm back in ward choir. Our director isn't experienced leading, but she does a great job and really FEELS music and the purpose of it, so I love that.

But there is that one guy (isn't there always?) that has a suggestion or correction for EVERYTHING, and today he actually argued with her about a creative choice she was making, and would.not.let.it.go. I felt so bad for her. I've been in a ward with this guy for 12 years and this isn't new behavior, though today was a bit escalated.

So what do you say to someone like that? I almost said, "Too many cooks in the kitchen ruins the soup." I thought it might just embarrass her more to make thing of it... but I mean really, he needs to let the director do their calling. He's been director before and everyone hated it, because he was so mechanical and treated it like a college class or something.
 

dyany

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 08:29:31 pm »
He probably thinks in his own way that he is being helpful. 
If I broached the subject with him--which I probably wouldn't unless I knew him well or felt very protective of the director or he offended everyone and I had stewardship--I would start with acknowledging the good intentions he hopefully has (and, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I am going to assume he has). 
Something like, "Thank you for coming to choir and being so involved and conscientious."
Then I would be careful in how I presented the issue, but make it clear what lines were crossed.  Something like, "I noticed today that you had some ideas for the piece we were doing that didn't mesh with the director's ideas.  In fact, everyone noticed.  Many people were very uncomfortable about the contention, as they are trying to sustain the director in this calling, and know that she is the only one with the stewardship to receive revelation about how we as the ward choir sing the songs.  I am sure your way is good, too, but there are lots of ways to sing a hymn, and she is the one with the stewardship to make the decisions.  I know that she knows you are a good resource and will come to you if she has questions.  So I'm asking if you could help us keep the Spirit in practice and avoiding contention by trying to find the good in the way she does it."

I'm looking at what I just wrote and I'm not happy with it, either.  Yet another reason why I wouldn't say anything and why I'm never given leadership positions.  I kind of feel like this some days: https://youtu.be/Ow0lr63y4Mw
 
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GoodyScrivener

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 09:10:49 pm »
Honestly, I would not say anything to him, because I wouldn't have the stewardship. This needs to come from the choir director or maybe even the  bishopric.  In fact, just reacting during rehearsal could be detrimental - it's making him the center of attention, even if it's just for a moment.

I would, however, approach the choir director to offer support and encouragement (but not advice!). I might ask if there is anything I could to to help.

And this is also not my place, but it might be interesting to see what happens when the bishopric is invited to join the choir themselves. I suspect they're probably aware of this individual's tendency to interject, but attending a few practices would allow them to see it first-hand, as well as the responses of others around him.
 
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beefche

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 06:25:32 pm »
At this point, I wouldn't say anything to him. I would go to her and let her know how you feel about how well she is doing. If you are friends with her, then I would help her feel empowered to shut down that type of interaction again (provide suggestions, role play, whatever you feel would help her). If you aren't friends, then I don't know that I would say anything other than sympathy (if she brings it up).

I think (hindsight is 20/20) I would have told him to pipe down after it became apparent it was getting uncomfortable for everyone. "Bro Smith, she is now the director. You've offered a suggestion and she can think about it. Now it's time to stop arguing and get to practicing. No seriously. Stop. We are all here wanting to practice, not listen to you arguing with our leader." Of course, I'm beginning to realize that I'm becoming an old fart and feel more free to speak my mind (while trying to keep it nice). 
 
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pnr

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 08:02:54 pm »
I'd call the choir director and tell her how much you appreciate the love that comes to the music, and tell her that if she wants to brainstorm ideas for how to deal with what happened and any other possible things, you'd be happy to help her do that.

And then if it happens again, I'd turn and look at him till he caught my eye and say, "When you were choir director did you make all the decisions for choir?  How did you handle when others disagreed?"
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 

Roper

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 09:21:27 pm »
In my experience, most "know-it-all" types are either seeking attention or they thrive on conflict. If you don't want to reward the behavior, then ignore it. Don't respond to him at all. If it happens again, speak out immediately in support of the choir director: "I think your idea is great one. Let's try that. And thank you so much for leading our choir." Your example might prompt others to also speak in support of her ideas.
 

JLM

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 01:39:26 am »
Did the offending guy behave the same way with a male choir director?
 

AndrewR

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 02:40:22 am »
Since I am the guy in the choir that would get bored and mess around I probably wouldn't be much use. However, since I am also one of the most accomplished musicians in the stake I would be listened to. I would simply tell the guy to shut up and sustain the called choir director.
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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LMAshton

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 07:01:58 am »
And were I in that choir with you, Andrew, I would applaud you. Probably secretly, or at least not publicly, but still...
Nauvoo Member #701 aka quidscribis, joined April 2003
 
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palmetto_gal

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 11:16:56 am »
In my previous ward, we had a guy who was very musically accomplished, and on top of that was a member of MENSA.  He even drives a car with a personalized license plate that says MENSA.  He often added his own commentary during choir practices, but not as much to the director as to the pianist.  Luckily, she was and is a living saint and is able to let it roll off her back.  She is also the one person I can think of who never speaks ill of anyone.  I want to be her when I grow up. 
 

dyany

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Re: Shutting down the know-it-all (or: There's One In Every Choir)
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 11:39:10 am »
pg: that's kind of funny.  Even when I was in hs, we of the nerdier persuasions in the school knew that MENSA was full of prats and braggarts; that was all the membership was for.  Many people I knew were eligible, but most avoided it because they either weren't that full of themselves, or they were afraid of it getting worse. 
In my adult experience, 100% of the people I have known who were intellectually precocious are severely out-of-balance with their life skills.  That is, their mental talents were offset by gaps in social, emotional, creative, physical, or other important skillsets.  If left unchecked--which it often is, since most of us are so astounded by any significant talent in 1-2 areas that we fail to notice the severity of the shadows they cast--then the person becomes not only more out-of-balance (encouraged to pursue the area in which they are already incredibly talented, and either told or left to assume that their weaknesses are unimportant), but skewed in how they view what is important in others, their own lives, and the world. 
I consider MENSA to be the meeting place of many of these off-kilter persons where they feed their delusions and tell each other it's all perfectly fine.
 
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