“I realized that my job is to awaken possibility in others.”

White Sheets - March 2023

Benjamin Zander
Ben's Blog — March 15, 2023

What is a White Sheet?

It is the “voice of the people.”

Orchestra players traditionally have little or no voice. In a traditional orchestra, players are not permitted to speak to the conductor during a rehearsal. That seems both unfair for the players and deprivation to the conductor. I introduced the idea of the white sheet to give players the freedom to voice their opinions, reactions, observations, questions, suggestions, and requests. The white sheet must be signed, which might suggest that honesty is not appreciated. Not true! In a Possibility organization, the participants all trust that everyone has the best interests of the organization and all its participants at heart. Therefore if something is not going the way you want, you can be reasonably sure that we want to hear about it. 

We also want to hear if you are having a good time and appreciate what is being done because then we are encouraged to go on doing what we have been doing. In normal times it is difficult to know what people are feeling or thinking because it is often hard to read their body language. In times of Covid, it is virtually impossible. Organizations and leaders, just like performers, tend to do their best if they are appreciated. Pleasure, joy, and applause generate more of the same. But a good leader is also interested in being coached in ways that will improve her or his effectiveness. The white sheet is also interested in being coached in ways that will improve her or his effectiveness. Just as when you are teaching, couch your critical comments in such terms that the object of your criticism is encouraged rather than demoralized. 

Courteousness is a value in the Real of Possibility. However, do not worry that anything you say will ever be used against you. I welcome the white sheet as a good way to increase communication. Communication is good, especially at such a time. I love to hear from you. Do not worry that I am too busy. Do not worry that you don’t have anything “important” to say. It is important to me, just because you said it. If I don’t have time, I just may not answer, and you can try again. 


Click here to view the White Sheets from March 2023.

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