Humans are social creatures that depend on relationships. Connecting with others is one of the greatest human experiences we have but cultivating healthy relationships can be a real struggle. Romantic relationships, familial relationships, friendships, and - let’s not forget - professional relationships. We spend the majority of our time in the workplace, which makes the creation of healthy relationships with the professionals we collaborate with absolutely essential. Stronger professional relationships lead to higher work satisfaction, overall success, and happiness.
Whether you are a wedding planner looking to improve your professional relationships with floral designers and clients or you are a vendor striving to make it on a wedding planner’s preferred vendor list, healthy professional relationships are a must. Like all relationships, professional relationships require care and purposeful intention. Today, we’re spilling the tea on 6 simple tips to live by that will make your professional relationships enjoyable and as easy as saying “I do.”
What are the elements of a healthy professional relationship?
Lack of proper communication can be a massive deal breaker in all relationships. Regardless if the communication is through email, phone call, or in person. Be transparent and honest about your business practice, working style, and expectations. Take time to learn about your communication style as well as the communication styles of others. If an issue arises, assess the situation and talk about it. There’s nothing good communication can’t fix!
Healthy relationships go both ways and honesty is the strongest bridge to trust. A cornerstone piece to building healthy relationships is holding impeccably to your word. Follow through on the deadlines you commit to your colleagues, coworkers and vendor partners. This will portray how reliable you are, and it will certainly nourish a healthy bond.
Having respect for one another includes respecting the other person's time. Always be fashionably early, never late! This shows the other professional or client you are working with that you value their time and schedule. Avoid gossiping all together. Resist the temptation! Yes, there may be days that a couple or a wedding pro may be driving you a little crazy and it’s okay to vent but remember that if it’s not uplifting or if you wouldn’t say it to the person's face, then it’s probably not best for your relationship with them or your own mental health.
An Open Mind
Respect is paired nicely with being open minded. As an event professional, you have to work with a wide variety of people that may have different viewpoints than you. Diverse perspectives and ideas can cause disagreements and tension. After all, each individual has their own world view. Be open to putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and show some empathy toward your colleagues and clients. Your professional partners may have some wild ideas and working styles, but always remember that you are joining forces to bring your clients' dream events to life. A happy client makes for a happy event professional. Collaboration and support are the road to resolution and innovation.
What separates a professional relationship and the other relationships you have in your life? The boundaries you have to set. It’s important to create clear boundaries for each of your professional relationships. This requires self-reflection and awareness. You may have differing boundaries with event professionals than with your clients. It’s up to you to decide how you work best and what you're comfortable with. Set the tone of the type of professional relationship you want early on and remain consistent throughout. Let’s say that one of the couples or colleagues you're working with wants you to be available at their beck and call. The phone buzzes straight through dinner. The time stamps on text messages are shocking. It’s okay to let them know that after a certain time you won’t be responding. This is helpful in separating your personal and professional relationships, and prevent you from getting overwhelmed and burned out. These boundaries will also assist you in knowing when to walk away. If a vendor you've been working with constantly disrespects your boundaries or you just don’t seem to be a match, it’s okay to let go of that professional relationship and pursue new ones.
Positive Attitudes and Encouragement
Think of all of the times you have executed something outstanding (which is always because you’re amazing at what you do, we know!). Wouldn’t it be uplifting if someone you worked with affirmed your efforts? Not that we do the work we do to be in the spotlight, but everyone needs a little reminder every now and then to keep morale up. We all love compliments! If a vendor you're working with has a keen attention to detail and is sensitive to the needs of your clients, then by all means let them know! Write them a thank you note or give them a small thank you gift. There will be some bad days and that’s okay, too, but always try to find the silver lining and keep a good attitude when working with others. This is a huge part of the maintenance of healthy professional relationships and can also leave a lasting impression with your professional partners. It’s these small, kind actions that will ensure that you have a strong relationship with your clients and other event professionals throughout your entire career.