Every event planner knows that the job title entails working with a variety of people. This can be an amazing thing when the people you work with have the same ideas that you do and everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. More often than not, a wrench gets thrown in your “perfect” plan. Some of the hardest wrenches to maneuver around are a person, or co-planner, with an opposing idea.
A difficult situation can head down an unprofessional slope if not handled correctly. Relationships can fall apart over disagreements, especially if the co-planner is a venue or service provider for your event. Depending on how the disagreement is resolved could affect future events together. That’s why it’s critical to handle these situations with care.
So what do you do when this happens? How do you go about finding common ground?
Follow these 4 steps to make compromising with co-planners easy.
1. Decide what the end goal of the discussion is.
When you get into a disagreement over an event or idea with a co-planner, the first thing you need to do is decide what the end goal is in the discussion. Your goal should be something like ‘to have the event go smoothly’ or ‘to please your attendees.’ Make it broad, but easy to define so you don’t set yourself up to get wrapped up in small details. Your goal shouldn’t be to win the argument, but instead be about something that’s actually important to the success of the event.
Do this first to give yourself clarity before you discuss with the other people involved.
2. Talk it out.
Once you’ve decided what your goal is for the conversation, open the channels of communication. Don’t argue, but present your ideas and why you believe yours is strong, then ask them to do the same.
If you feel overly confident in your idea, you may not be as open to hearing theirs. Take a step back and really listen to what your co-planner has to say. They might have a great idea or you might be able to find a way to blend the ideas together.
By taking the time to talk it out, you show your co-planner respect. Don’t be argumentative and remember to be professional during the conversation. You might disagree, but at the end of the day, you need to work as a team to succeed.
3. Weigh your options.
After you’ve discussed your ideas it’s time to weigh both options. This step takes humility and open-mindedness on both sides. You have to be able to decide whether or not your idea is the best fit. If you change your mind and choose to go with your co-planner’s idea, that doesn’t mean that you or your idea are weaker. All it means is that you were able to put the end goal ahead of this bump in the road.
Sometimes the best way to please your attendees is by compromising on the planning side. If there’s a way to blend your ideas together, try to! This can be difficult but it shows you’re willing to sacrifice your pride for the sake of the attendee experience. Working as a team is the easiest way to succeed. If you show your co-planners respect, you’ll earn it in return.
Event planning causes stress, that’s no secret. Whether this co-planner is the venue contact, caterer, or a fellow team member of yours, it’s important to stay professional. Use these simple steps to streamline finding common ground and succeed at your event.