1. Praise them for everything they do. They are quite vulnerable. And if you want something different, present it as supplement or improvement to their great plan. You can also make the musicians believe that your idea was actually their idea. See it as exercise in seeing the best in everyone.
2. Don’t confront them with open criticism in front of others, ever. You can do it backstage, and even than it’s best to be as cautious as possible, so the musicians will not get the impression that you try to set them up.
3. Be on guard. As long as you go along with them, you share in their fame. But they can drop you in a second too. Remind them what you have to offer, what they can’t do themselves.
4. Trust your instinct. It might take a while before you notice, but they often make you feel untalented or stupid. Check with others, they might feel the same. It helps you to remain your self-esteem.
5. Take them as they are. Don’t think that you can change them, it will not happen. Only if you deal with not being seen yourself, you will be able to keep in touch. And remember, they suffer too. Being a famous musician is quite stressful.
Actually these rules are for how to treat narcissists *.
Research by S.M. Young and D. Pinsky ** has shown that celebrities score quite high as narcissists. Reality TV personalities, comedians and actors score higher than musicians, women higher than men.
I see many people in the music business treating all musicians like they are narcissists even though many are not. I don’t like it. It’s a way to raise expectations and create narcissist behavior, even when the musician has a more humble personality. This kind of behavior makes musicians become dependent on the team around them, it puts them in a golden cage.
A far better way to treat all musician (and everyone else) is by empowering them. Make them aware of their positive attributes, reinforce them and show the responsibilities that go with it.
That’s what I do in my Online Workshop 5 Empowerment Tools For Musicians. A new workshop with max. 12 like minded musicians starts at September 15, there are still some spots available.