On October 19th, I led my first Empowerment Jam Session entirely on my own. It felt really good to lead it on my own, and felt like it was the right space to lead for the first time. If you are interested in being a leader of a jam session, here are the 5 helpful things to know.
- Patience: Being patient is important because sometimes it takes a while for people to get comfortable in the jam session space. If someone is having a bad day and they come into the jam session, you can be patient with them and help them through whatever it is they’re dealing with.
- Humility: When I think of humility, I think of putting others before yourself. I don’t think a jam session should be just about what I want, because the things other participants want are important as well. For example, if they want to lead a song, they can. I think it’s important for all leaders, no matter what they are leading, to think about others before themselves.
- Flexibility: Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan, so you have to go with the flow and let whatever is meant to happen, happen. I also think about the times when somebody wants to hear a recorded song rather than a live song. I personally have to be flexible and go along with it, when people want to play a prerecorded song instead of live music. It is all about going with the flow and not letting things bother you when they go awry, which is easier said than done.
- Professionalism/Collaboration: Having good people skills, and learning to respond appropriately to different situations, is a valuable trait of being a jam session leader. Being professional means not being too controlling. Being a leader in any situation, I personally want to be in control, and that it is not always the best thing if other people are following you. You want collaboration between participants and leaders.
- Be a Good Listener: Being a good listener means accepting feedback from others, weather positive or constructive. We try to listen to our participants via a survey we ask to be filled out at the end of every jam. These surveys allow participants to give their opinions on the jam, and it also gives TMA the opportunity to connect with their understanding of the Neurodiversity movement.
Contact me (Sunny) at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in leading your own Empowerment Jam Session!