Teamwork makes the dream work for Fascinating Rhythm whose members have spent a lot of time online over the past year using Zoom and social media to stay connected – Thursday evenings are for singing, laughter, and friendship. We haven’t let lockdown prevent us from getting together (albeit virtually).
Fascinating Rhythm is devoted to a love of barbershop and musical performance. We are so much more than singing: we also care about teamwork, peer support, social connection and the health and wellbeing benefits associated with singing. Being off the risers has allowed us to work on some of the non-singing aspects of being a choir, like what makes Fascinating Rhythm a solid and supportive team?
One of our fabulous Lead singers, Hanna (a consultant in behavioural change and continuous improvement), has investigated Fascinating Rhythm’s personality profile and uncovered some fascinating insights. We asked her to explain how our individualities come together to make our chorus a successful team.
Check your personality
Everyone perceives the world and makes decisions differently, and this diversity is essential within a team. Understanding our individual members’ personalities can help us communicate better and work together even more successfully.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a tool for finding out how you naturally prefer to focus your energy, gather information and interact with other people. It’s not an exact science, but this type of personality profiling can help you learn about your preferences and highlight your strengths. Towards the end of last year, 35 of our members volunteered to complete an MBTI questionnaire so Hanna could gain insight into our collective chorus personality.
MBTI divides people into 16 personality types based on four areas of preference or behaviour:
- Extraversion (E) / Introversion (I) is about focusing energy. Extraverted people tend towards action, oral communication and group work. Introverted people tend to be more reflective, prefer written communication and enjoy working alone or with one or two others.
- Sensing (S) / Intuition (N) is about gathering information. Sensing people, like specific examples, following an agenda and focus on the applications of a situation; intuitive people prefer general concepts, desire change and focus on the possibilities a situation can bring.
- Thinking (T) / Feeling (F) is about decision-making. Thinking people will seek general truths and objectivity by asking questions and wanting things to be logical and feeling people will seek individual and interpersonal harmony by expressing feelings and knowing when support is needed.
- Judging (J) / Perceiving (P) is about lifestyle. Judging people like order, they finish tasks before a deadline and dislike surprises. Perceiving people like to keep things flexible; they finish tasks at the deadline and reserve the right to change their plans or decisions.
There is no ‘right’ personality type, and none is better than another. Each type has its own unique strengths, and an effective team will have a spread of people from across the MBTI spectrum.
Our team: The Defender
The most common outcome for the Fascinating Rhythm members surveyed was the ISFJ profile (also known as ‘The Defender’), which makes us a warm, efficient, responsible and practical team. Singing in a choir is not a solo sport – everyone has to put in effort and enthusiasm – and our collective personality (particularly the SJ bit) means we are willing to take responsibility for helping our chorus succeed as a team.
We strive for musical excellence through dedication to rehearsals and the challenge of learning a diverse repertoire, and there’s plenty of help and support within the chorus. Being ISFJ means we are good at summarising our learning; we make notes, written instructions and visual materials to support people’s different learning styles. (It should come as no surprise that we focus on details, given that we have a strong IS preference!)
Our ladies are happy to share their experiences to help others in the team (that’s our SF tendency shining through). With Feeling as our most dominant trait, we nurture interpersonal harmony. We are lucky to have a committed Music Team who, along with our Section Leaders and Assistant Section Leaders, are always happy to provide peer support.
Our strong Judging tendency probably explains why our rehearsals tend to be quite structured, with a mixture of warm-up exercises, singing practice, perhaps some barbershop music theory and something fun that takes us out of our comfort zone. Whilst we vary the specific activities, we do like to have a rehearsal structure and enjoy setting goals and making plans.
Perhaps surprisingly, we have strong natural introversion! Whilst we may look super-confident on stage, performing our socks off, the majority of our members (including Jo, our Musical Director) don’t enjoy actively seeking out the limelight.
Smells like team spirit.
So much about being part of Fascinating Rhythm comes down to teamwork. We have teams for everything: from Wardrobe and Music to show-planning and organising our participation in the annual LABBS Convention. Everyone can play to their strengths and find their niche!
Indeed the unsung heroines of teamwork and communication are the Riser Team, who arrive early for every rehearsal to set up the staged risers for us to stand on. Their seamless coordination of this weekly construction challenge and commitment to health and safety ensure we can arrange ourselves on the risers in the way that best enhances our unique Fascinating Rhythm sound.
Joining our team
We believe that singing is for everyone and we are always on the lookout for new members. So, if you’re considering taking up a new post-lockdown activity, we’d love to hear from you!
You might like to see other articles in the Fascinating Rhythm Insights series:
05 – Why Warm Up?
07 – Breathing to Sing