Richard's story - how music changed his attitude to work

This Creating Space insight comes with a caution. For many of you music helps you anchor to a positive moment or memory that changes your head space and your emotional state quickly.

This story highlights how easily you can use music both positively and negatively and comes with a friendly workplace caution.

I first started working with Richard at the request of his boss. It’s fair to say their relationship was very disruptive and getting in the road of productive work. To say they did not get on was an understatement. Richard would prepare for battle ahead of their meetings.

My first meeting with Richard confirmed he was angry, frustrated and felt trapped in a disruptive relationship that was not doing him any good and was ruining a job he loved. We worked through the challenges and the options. When I felt Richard was ready to hear about how music could change his physical state I took him through the exercise of connecting to positive moments and explored ways he could do this for himself on demand. Richard learnt how he could use music to change his mood or attitude to a situation. In particular, preparing for meetings that tended to be hostile and felt like a war zone.

Then Richard went quiet on me. We sat in the moment. He says, ‘I guess listening to Rage Against the Machine full blast on the way to work is not helpful’. I smiled and said something along the lines of ‘probably not’.

At our next coaching session, Richard bounced in the room and shared how changing his listening habits to music that was more positive and fun did improve his attitude and mood. But beware: based on his experience, an uplifted mood can cause you to walk around the office with head phones on, singing  the words of a very famous Violent Femmes song, Blister in the Sun. Those of you who know the song also will know that some of the lyrics are not what you would hope to sing out-loud to your colleagues!

So if you are like Richard and want to change your attitude to a situation, person or task or find or protect your space - call me…

For Richard the hostile relationship has turned around considerably. It has also been observed by those around him and Richard is enjoying going to work again.