By: Andriana Avraam, WPICC, Lead Planner at Pink Media Events
If you’re a passionate wedding planner like us, then you have probably helped pull together numerous dream weddings in your career. It is only natural that the more weddings we plan, the more experience we build. As we get better at managing all the moving parts, we can run the risk of becoming detached and drop into autopilot mode. It may be just another day on the job for us, but it will be one of the most memorable days of their lives for our couples. That’s our role on this beautiful journey with them, isn’t it?
How does our team avoid auto-mode at Pink Media? Monthly EI (or more commonly known as EQ) meetings. We discuss sticky situations, how we resolve them and what we can do better using our Emotional Intelligence.
SO WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
It is a person’s ability to be aware of, control and express one’s emotion while handling relationships with others properly and with empathy. It shows in our ability to understand, manage and use our emotions in a positive way. We feel our society focuses too much on IQ and not nearly enough on EQ. We need to balance both simultaneously.
EQ comes into play when we try to manage stress or a challenging situation by defusing tension or synchronizing with the emotions of others. Emotional Intelligence affects our job performance, physical and mental health, and all our social relationships.
In a profession like wedding planning where there are so many interpersonal relations going on, emotional intelligence is priceless. If we are to speak honestly, it can save the day and prevent a myriad of crises from escalating.
WHY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN WEDDING PLANNING?
If not in wedding planning then where else do you need an arsenal of crisis aversion tools?
Grace under pressure. Calm under pressure. Care under pressure. We believe it’s a Wedding Planner’s success criteria when dealing with unpredictable stressors on a very, very emotionally charged day.
Managing events requires everything characterized by EQ. You need strong self-awareness and emotional control to provide clients with flawless weddings, even when we know they are not so perfect behind the scenes every time. As planners, we understand how important it is to put out fires WITHOUT alarming our clients.
Emotional intelligence can help in keeping others from stressing out about the big day and help us better understand why someone is panicking – and how we can help mitigate those spiralling feelings. Ultimately, it gives us the ability to be a source of strength for others when everything seems to be going off the vision plan.
Someone who is emotionally intelligent is calm, patient, self-motivated and empathetic. Sounds a lot like a WPIC certified wedding planner to us! On the other hand, someone who is lacking is quick to panic, volatile and shows no consideration for the emotions of others, which can trigger a series of unfortunate events. It is easy to understand why clients and other team members will prefer to work with a wedding planner that excels in Emotional Intelligence.
So much can change unexpectedly when organizing a wedding that will leave your client, vendors and team members looking to you to exercise good judgement and manage emotions.
Not sure about you, but we’ve certainly experienced moments where our bride is in tears – inconsolable even – over the most insignificant detail (in our opinion!). But her feelings are REAL and they’re consuming her. It is our duty to put our frustration aside, lend a sympathetic ear and understand that it has nothing to do with the basket in the wrong shade of white and everything to do with something deeper bubbling to the surface: familial pressures, insecurities, doubts, fears, anxiety. If you can hone in and listen without judgement, you will be able to do the impossible: make her heart smile with a renewed perspective.
Moments like these can be a big challenge if the planner lacks emotional intelligence. So the big question is how do you as a wedding planner improve or master your EQ?
5 WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Knowing that emotional intelligence is key to successfully managing clients, their families, teammates and events as a wedding planner, the big question is how do you improve? How do you show leadership in a crisis and keep everyone calm?
Here are some practical tips to help you understand and control your emotions while showing consideration and empathy for others.
● Practice Good Listening.
The best way to understand people is by listening to them. Start by improving your listening ability. This will build your interpersonal skill and make it easier for you to connect with others. People want to be heard and understood.
● Focus On the Solution, Not the Problem.
When something unexpected happens, it is natural to worry. However, dealing with that sudden change can affect your inner balance, allowing your emotions to cloud your judgment. To deal with it, focus more on solutions than the distressing issue. Amazingly, when others see you as a solution-seeker, it instills confidence in you and motivates them.
● Practice Heartfelt Empathy.
Someone once referred to empathy as ‘your pain in my heart’. When we put ourselves in other people’s shoes, we will better understand how they feel and why they make certain decisions or have certain fears.
● React Positively Every Time.
No eye-rolls, no loud sighs. You’re in control, remember? How you react to a situation can make it better or worse. Reacting positively can help you control your emotions and even those of others. It will also help you focus more on finding solutions and mitigating damages.
Granted, emotional intelligence does not happen overnight. Experience is our biggest teacher no doubt. However, being aware and striving for improvements will go a long way in helping us grow in EQ, so that, we can continue to help beautiful people realize their beautiful dreams.
Planner Tip! Our employee onboarding includes an introduction to the concept of Emotional Intelligence and a mandatory read. It is the best $22 you will ever invest in yourself and your team.
Andriana Avraam is a self-described ‘organizational freak’ who lives for the thrill of orchestrating events that offer extraordinary experiences. Where others see plans, Andriana sees possibilities and is not afraid to break a few molds in exchange for sensory magic. Part creative nerd, part logistical fanatic, this glittery go-getter isn’t afraid to get gritty. After twenty years as a senior marketer and corporate event manager, Andriana followed her sparkly dreams and launched Pink Media. In more recent years, she extended her expertise to the non-profit charity sector and helped local foundations elevate their fundraising efforts successfully. In 2019, after many requests from existing clients, family and friends, Andriana embraced the world of wedding planning and launched Pink Media Premium Weddings under the same umbrella.