Working with other people can be such a rewarding experience. I love getting to know new people, figuring out what gives them joy, and learning how they work! Perhaps that's the leadership nerd in me coming out :) While I love getting to work with new people, it can be really frustrating to work with people who don't communicate clearly. And in other cases, it's frustrating to think you're being clear and find out that the person you're communicating with doesn't quite understand you! Either way, clear communication can not be important enough in any planning. Here are a few of my tips to ensure that everyone stays on the same page while communicating.
1. Get it in writing.
This may seem really obvious, but when you're constantly on the phone with someone or are back and forth in person discussing plans, it's easy to forget the little things and to assume that you'll remember what you said you'd do, and what you agreed on. I always want something via email so I can label it and reference it from anywhere. I'm also specific about what kind of communication I use - I won't use facebook messenger for anything other than casual conversation, for example. Also, whenever if I have a phone conversation with someone to discuss planning an event, I will follow up with an email to make sure we both have a record of what we discussed. Same for an in-person meeting!
2. Ask for clarification.
I am a firm believer in "no dumb questions" especially when you're planning an event for someone else. I'd much rather ask too many questions than not enough, and will ask the same question multiple times if I need to! Ideas and plans are constantly changing, and working with other people who are developing their thoughts about how an event should be means that their thoughts are always changing too! So if one day the colors are pink, yellow, and white but the next day they are navy, pink and white, I'm going to be asking for what specific shades the bride wants - what else changes? Should the pink really be a coral? Should we still incorporate yellow, but maybe by having gold accents instead? These questions often open up more discussions, which gives me such better insight into the thought process of my bride, and allows me to get a better sense of what she wants.
3. Understand your client.
This is part of why I'm so passionate about event planning - learning other personalities and their thought processes excites me! When working with someone, it won't take me too long to figure out if they need a lot of direction or very little, if they say "yes" when they mean "maybe" or vice versa! This is key. This tells me how many emails they're likely going to be comfortable getting from me (do they want a weekly update? Do they only want to know if something has changed or needs their attention?) and gives me a good basis to start those discussions. From there, I will of course discuss these topics with them, but recognizing what someone will likely respond best to is a great starting point.