Entertaining Matters in Music & Entertainment

SMM: Good Vibrations

Photo by Tom Leu

Do you even care?

Do you care how you’re “coming off” to others? If the answer is No, then stop listening to/reading now and click the hell off this site, stat. There’s nothing for you here. If Yes, then you’re in the right place.

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The timeless Beach Boys classic “Good Vibrations” is a song that for most people, garners thoughts of summertime and fun, and feelings of happiness and joy. Carl Wilson is singing about “picking up good vibrations.” You know the song… everyone does.

But the usual perception of the song is quite different from the reality that was happening behind the scenes during the recording of this classic. In 1966 the Beach Boys were full-fledged rock stars externally, but greatly fractured internally. Chief songwriter Brian Wilson was beginning a long, and storied downward spiral and descent into drug addiction and psychopathology, yet simultaneously creating some the most memorable music of all time.

“This was recorded over a two month period using top Los Angeles session musicians – the Beach Boys didn’t play any instruments on the track. About 90 hours of studio time and 70 hours of tape were used, and at least 12 musicians played on the sessions. This was recorded in fragments – six different LA studios were used in the recording process, and tape from four of these studios was used in the final cut of the track. Brian Wilson was the only songwriter credited on this track until a 1994 lawsuit awarded Mike Love composer credit for his contributions to the lyrics on this and 34 other Beach Boys songs. Love maintains that Murry Wilson (Brian’s father), handled the publishing details and screwed him out of the songwriting credits.”

The chasm between how things are perceived by others, and how these same things exist in reality is often quite large. Keypoint: People respond to their own perceptions of their reality; not yours, and not mine. So how you “come off” to others interpersonally is not about how YOU view it, but how THEY perceive it. People around us only respond to how THEY “see” you, not how YOU “see” you. Most miss this. And it’s definitely an art form that few actually master.

And so, this subjective “coming off” quality affects one’s personal and professional credibility. It’s not enough to just know your stuff (technically speaking). You must also present well, and have excellent soft skills – because how you “come off” to others matters as much, if not more out in the real world. The problem is: “soft skills” I like to say, are hard to sell. Most people have a preference or inclination toward either the technical OR the human relations side of things; rarely both. But we all NEED both. It’s about being able to produce a “sense” of caring even when delivering the bad news, or drawing a hard line. 

the shiFt:

Top 4 things you can do today and everyday to enhance your personal and professional credibility:

  1. Check yourself (tune-in, often) >> Pause. Think before you act or speak. Consider the big-picture ramifications of your current behavior.
  2. Seek and be receptive to constructive feedback. Ask for accountability from someone you trust, and then put the ego down. No one is perfect. We ALL have opportunity-areas. Recognizing this is great strength, not weakness.
  3. Apply quality feedback received by DEMONSTRATING it day-to-day, especially in the tough, emotional moments we all have, and will have again and again.
  4. Repeat… all day, everyday.

There’s often a discrepancy between what we perceive to be reality, and the actual reality. It’s our collective jobs to look just underneath the obvious to mine out the truth. It’s there, but it may not be as pretty as we prefer. Because a harsher truth is far better than a softer illusion.

And in the end, the good vibrations put out are about demonstration over proclamation.

Stay tuned-in…

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