Monday, March 05, 2018

Should choir leaders socialise with their choir members?

Many choirs hold social events throughout the year. It helps build a choir community and encourages team spirit. That can only be a good thing.

office party

But should your choir leader be invited along, or should they maintain a professional distance?

I took over a choir from somebody who’d been leading it for about five years. Very quickly I got into the habit of going to the bar after rehearsals and getting to know the choir members.

One day they told me that their previous leader had never come for a drink afterwards. In his opinion it was important to maintain a professional distance. If you fraternise with the singers, you lose your mystique and authority.

I thought that was bonkers, but I guess other choral directors share that view.

I would have thought that anybody who’s any good at their job – whether it’s an office manager, choir leader, shift supervisor or university lecturer – could happily hang out with the people they lead or teach without losing any authority whatsoever. In fact, I believe that socialising with your team makes you more human and approachable.

It’s only those leaders who are insecure in their abilities that would worry about maintaining a “professional distance”.

What do you think? What’s your experience?

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Chris Rowbury



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