The right message for your audience
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 doesn’t suit all approach. It’s creating a bit of a storm.
I made a list of all the things I thought I could write about and link back to weddings and why in my opinion this situation has occurred! 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 instead on a personal approach. Keeping your audience informed with your plans and allowing time for them to digest the information may just avoid misunderstanding and an initial knee jerk reaction, a predictable outcome to the one message doesn’t suit all
It could be that you have not anticipated the response and are feeling irked that you are not getting the support for your decision. What is the best way to go about initiating change?
What causes us to make a change?
Well usually thoughts turn to change when things are out of balance or we are no longer feeling satisfied by the status quo. It could be a case of feeling stuck, restricted, obligated or it could be that we are not living our life in line with our beliefs and interests.
Acting on impulse due to frustration is unlikely to give you a satisfactory long term solution.
Allowing time to review circumstances and the reasons for feeling the way you do will help. Doing this in isolation and only consulting those that share the same opinion is unlikely to give you a broader bigger picture of the situation. Seeking insight and guidance from those you trust be it family, friends or a third party is going to give you impartiality.
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.
THE announcement was a very meaty one 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 each person(s) or organisation would have worked better and avoided a lot of speculation rather than a blanket statement. Harry and Meghan had a pretty big wish list that would have elicited a different response from the Royal institution and organisations. One message does not suit all.
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.
Communicating a big decision related to your wedding day
Delivering any big decision that involves people and action needs careful planning, for instance deciding to get married abroad – this can be divisive for a number of reasons and is a hot topic on wedding forums like and You and Your Wedding. You will see that the reasons for a negative response are on a very personal level.
Going out with a single unilateral one message fits all to family and friends most likely will give you a mixed response and ends up being disheartening for you.
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.
If you choose to use a standard message, adding a personal explanation for the VIP guests 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 early answer. Advance planning, and some heart to heart chat is a better approach to give you quality information and for both sides to listen and understand each other.
Moving ahead with a clear view on the information needed you can proceed with confidence. Booking the right sized venue and plan your budget for all those amazing events and experiences, as you will know who is definitely going to turn up and will totally immerse themselves in what you have crafted to delight and surprise them and also the definite “nos” and the “unlikely”.
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.
A little love and understanding on all sides
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 rather than it being a personal reaction against what is being requested.
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 with a thoughtful personalised message.
Back to Harry and Meghan, I hope that they live the life that makes them truly happy and is fulfilling and 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.