Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

WOOP there it is!

I read an interesting article from HBR Blog entitled “Stop Being So Postitive“.  The article basically states that positive thinking builds a false promise and, in general, positive thinkers tend to take easier and less cumbersome steps towards their goals and make either the same or less progress in achieving attainable wishes.  The article isn’t asking us to be Negative Nancy’s, it’s simply recommending we dose a little reality into our positive thinking (they call it mental contrasting).  Mental contrasting is “an exercise that brings together our positive fantasy about the future with a visualization of the obstacle standing in the way”.  They have developed the tool WOOP: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Path which will help us understand the attainability or unrealistic possibility of a wish.  By confronting the potential obstacles head on you are preparing yourself to combat them.

This article is significant because each of us are in the midst of wishing.  We are in graduate school trying to create a path for ourselves in the arts management world, which is no small feat.  If WOOP actually works now would be a great time to test it so that by the time we all become big and successful in the arts management world, we are in the habit of reviewing potential obstacles each time our organization shoots for a new wish. Maybe you’re awesome and already are; for me it sounds like the distinction between positive thinking and mental contrasting is that for the blogger, positive thinking is simply dreaming.

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5 comments on “WOOP there it is!

  1. gaochang619
    October 31, 2014

    This is a great article. When thinking positively, namely, dreaming, it is a useful next step to realize our goal by undertaking the WOOP. I love the two HBR articles I’ve read this week, and I post another one called “What to Do After a Bad Performance Review?” Positive prospect and negative feedback are both commonplace in arts managers’ daily work, which should be treated objectively to help us improve.

  2. qfloyd
    October 31, 2014

    Awesome article. Although I can be a dreamer at times, it is often good to dream but keeping your goals realistic. Not saying that being a realistic person is wrong nor is saying being a dreamer is wrong but having a nice balance between both is how people can satisfy the needs. Being too much of a dreamer can cause false actualities and being a too much of a “realistic” can cause negative nancy syndrome.

  3. Aubrey Wellfare
    October 31, 2014

    I feel like as arts managers it is our job to manage the dreamers and being OK with acting as the voice of reason. The artists we manage will benefit by our actions to make their dreams a reality, sometimes having to modify them within realistic parameters. You’re right, we don’t have to be negative Nancy’s, we just have to know how to work with what we’ve got.

  4. awellfare89
    October 31, 2014

    I feel like as arts managers it is our job to manage the dreamers and being OK with acting as the voice of reason. The artists we manage will benefit by our actions to make their dreams a reality, sometimes having to modify them within realistic parameters. You’re right, we don’t have to be negative Nancy’s, we just have to know how to work with what we’ve got.

  5. cayleycarroll
    November 3, 2014

    Great article Trisha! My thinking naturally gravitates toward the negative end of the spectrum (surprise!) so this article was validating in a way.

    😛

    This article reminded me of something I recently read on Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201410/think-negative-7-ways-it-can-help-you. This article contends that not being all smiley-faced helps people focus on details and aides others around you to be more honest with their own emotions.

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