Oh my goodness if you want an example of forcing change without good communication it is playing out in our media right now. Harry and Meghan are blazing a trail and generating many column inches for the newspapers with their one message fits all approach.
I made a list of all the things I thought I could write about and link back to weddings! Rushing into marriage, heritage and culture, adjusting to a new way of life, becoming parents, it’s all there. It would be an extremely long post.
I am going to focus on communicating change or a major decision that is about to happen and to an audience that may not support your decision or understand your decision as they have not been included.
What causes us to make a change?
It’s a personal question and right now I am figuring this out for myself.
New Year 2020 and I realise that event planning even special event planning is no longer my long term plan, I have done a lot of reading about changing careers and inspirational talks to help me identify a new purpose and align that to the way I live my life.
For 11 years I have been living a dream of owning my own business and helping couples with their heartfelt wedding experiences in Italy.
The enjoyment is still there, as I love seeing the emotion and joy on couples’ and guests’ faces – as they experience a one off creation that connects everyone present to build a legacy…BUT In my case I feel something is missing.
I encourage couples to have the wedding of their dreams, to make choices that reflect their lifestyles and priorities and design a celebration that is both meaningful and beautiful. It has been a mini epiphany but I have realised that when the wedding day ends I feel my work is not complete.
I have some ground work to do to help me connect with what is important and redefine my “why” and reveal my purpose and how much further I need to go to get that feeling of completeness, and then go about making the change and shouting about who and how I can help. It is exciting but also a bit scary.
Getting the message right.
There is a lot of media hype and some inflammatory content out there right now as a result of the @Sussexroyal announcement.
There was a lot of information in that announcement to digest and the ripple effect of emergency meetings between governments, the Monarch and Harry’s family has left many blind sided, and they have to come up with a solution in response to the couple’s decision.
Cannot help wondering if separate conversations where the content was tailored to the person(s) would have worked better and avoided a lot of speculation.
A deep and meaningful conversation with Prince Charles and Prince William would have been more suited for a fuller discussion without a deadline. A meeting with the Queen to follow protocol and a separate meeting to allow government departments to thrash out the complexities of security, taxes etc. One message does not suit all.
Delivering any big decision that involves people and action needs careful planning even when it comes to deciding to get married abroad – this can be divisive for a number of reasons.
Going out with a single unilateral message is likely to give you a mixed response and ends up being disheartening. You have all the excitement but the receiver may have other things going on and is not ready to make a decision or commit, your well meaning SAVE THE DATE may just be too far in advance to get a definitive yes or no answer. Adding a personal explanation to say why you need an idea of who is in and who is out and you understand that full commitment may not be possible will win you brownie points.
You cannot force an earlier answer, advance planning and fluid communication is more likely going to give you quality information and then you can go ahead with booking the right sized venue and plan your budget and those amazing events and experiences as you know who is going to turn up and will totally immerse themselves in what you have crafted to delight and surprise them.
If you don’t consult with family and friends and spend some time going through possible scenarios and be ready for less than 100% positive reaction this is when you may feel unappreciated and deflated.
Expect The Unexpected.
Going against wedding traditions and expectations can also cause friction, even beliefs can influence reactions.
I am an advocate of living your dreams and will support couples in living theirs.
Preparation is the secret to managing reactions, have answers to the most likely questions, you will be removing barriers and sharing why you have made the decisions you have and that will allow your audience to understand you and your why and may just be the assurance they need to take the ride with you.
Change is difficult and it can be uncomfortable for all concerned and there is always a period of adjustment. In most cases resistance is often due to the “change” not being something an individual relates to. Or, it is that the recipient of the news is not aware of the motivation for the change if no clear communication has preceded the event.
No surprise if presented with a fait accompli that the response is less than welcoming. Being transparent is more likely going to win you supporters.
My wish is that Harry and Meghan live the life that makes them truly happy and is fulfilling. That the decision they have made to step back from royal duties gives them what they seek to thrive. Perhaps in time communication and relationships will become easier all around.
No-one truly wants to deny another person’s happiness.