Event planning is a people focused and team based role. Avoid these habits if you want to have a successful career as an event professional and command the respect of those you work with.
In the event industry a lot depends on creating personal connections and relationships. People buy into people so it helps to be liked by colleagues, clients and vendors you work with. Although you are judged on the quality of the events you produce, being likeable is part of the criteria too. Successfully building relationships can open an array of opportunities. Make sure you don’t have any of these 15 bad habits to avoid being disliked and improve your working partnerships.
Frequently shouting or getting angry at colleagues is a sure fire way to lose respect. Eventprofs are only human but frequent emotional outbursts are not only distracting but they are also unprofessional, particularly in a profession that relies on appearing outwardly calm and unruffled. This can be a sign that you can’t handle the stress of the event manager role and reduces people’s faith in you professionally. It also makes you come across as melodramatic, at breaking point and one to be avoided. We all get emotional from time to time, but as an event planner just make sure you deal with strong emotions better than most.
Giving people vague instructions is a very dangerous game in the event industry, which relies on precision and details. Not communicating your requirements clearly can be a sign that you don’t really know what you’re talking about and you’re hoping the other person will figure it out for you. Be sure what needs to be done and ensure this is understood by the other party, otherwise it leads to a higher potential for error. By all means ask for advice and input from others if you haven’t got the answers but ensure that clear decisions are then made with the information given. Set guidelines so that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and follow it up in writing or with a phone call too.
Too much information can get you into a lot of trouble. Whether you have a tendency to share personal information, gossip, confidential projects or sensitive information it is a surefire way to make people feel uncomfortable. Remain professional at all times and lose the tittle-tattle if you want to earn people’s respect.
As an event planner you probably have some juicy stories you are keen to share and celebrity secrets and elaborating on the fantastic events you have produced can be tempting. Repeated bragging and a know-it-all attitude through is a sure fire way to turn people off. If you constantly feel the need to show-off about your achievements it can also be a sign that you are insecure in your true abilities.
As an event planner your phone is your lifeline and it’s a valuable working tool. Even if your inbox is exploding though, checking it during a client conversation or meeting can be a complete turnoff and very rude. Try to focus and put your phone away. The messages will still be there when you are done. Constantly being on your phone can also be a sign that you are aloof or unapproachable and is a pet hate for many.
Whether it is a little white lie or a complete fantasy, no matter which way you spin it, it is deceit and people hate when someone is being disingenuous. Relationships are based on trust so if you have a reputation for dishonesty you are likely to lose business and respect.
Being close minded makes you resistant to change, innovation and new ideas and can seriously hinder your career in the event industry, which is fluid and constantly changing. To grow and develop you should be constantly challenging the norm and coming up with ways to improve and better ways of doing things. If you are unapproachable or closed to suggestions colleagues will eventually stop trying to push boundaries and lose faith in your judgement. You also risk recreating the same events over and over again, rather than moving forward.
Being A Distraction
Your colleagues and suppliers are probably busy. Being a constant distraction to them, whether intentional or otherwise, and hindering them while they are working is guaranteed to raise stress levels and frustration. Be mindful of other people’s time and workloads and avoid interrupting your colleagues if they are concentrating, in the zone or on a deadline.
The event industry is all about connections and while you may be proud about your latest successes, there is a fine line between excitement and name dropping. The main difference is how you use it, for example, if you use your connections as a response to others’ achievements, that’s name dropping, as is just announcing it to everyone with no context or explanation. Of course it is great that you have made this new lead but constantly telling people about it is plain annoying and then you’ve lost their interest forever.
Nobody likes negativity and while there can be days that completely knock you down, recognize that it is not all doom and gloom and ensure you don’t constantly have a pessimistic attitude. Negative thinking is a downward spiral which can bring down you and everyone around you too. People naturally gravitate towards positive people because they lift them up and likewise they will avoid negativity too because they don’t want it in their lives. Although it is impossible to be optimistic all the time if you are in a bad place try to put everything into perspective. It might help to find some motivational quotes or listen to an uplifting playlist to pick up your mood.
This can be tricky because everyone has a different level of sensitivity and opinion on what is inappropriate and some can take offense quicker than others. A good rule of thumb is that if it jokes about race, religion, gender or politics you should just avoid it around the office and in any professional environment. Making inappropriate jokes or comments can be seriously upsetting and in some cases a cause for a formal warning at work.
If you don’t listen to instructions from clients, colleagues and vendors you are going to have a difficult time executing slick events. A lack of listening can have disastrous consequences and stop the event planner from truly fulfilling the vision of the event. Listening is not only related to what is said but also non verbal communications, such as body language, which makes up over 40% of a conversation. Not listening also causes problems in the office as you may miss out on important emotional intelligence or social cues that can come across as rude to others. If you don’t listen, no one will want to work with you, it’s that simple.
Invading Personal Space
Everyone has a comfort zone and if you keep invading other people’s space, whether that is physically or prying into their personal business their natural response is to back away from you, physically and emotionally. This can also be displayed if you frequently butt into other conversations or discussions uninvited and it will make you immediately unwelcome. Respect boundaries and be aware if you have overstepped the mark.
Being sociable is often expected of event planners but introverts can actually make some of the best event planners. Being antisocial or standoffish though isn’t the best way to build relationships.
Talking Behind People’s Backs
This can break relationships faster than most because it causes lost trust between people. Talking about people behind their backs is likely to make them keep you at a distance, after all, if you can talk about someone else then you can talk about them too. Aside from the distraction it can create rifts in a team environment and stops decent relationships developing
You will go much further in your event planning career if people warm to you, like and respect you. Of course you can’t get on with everyone but in the event industry connections, relationships and the people you know can be worth a lot, so it is important to have people in your corner. Hopefully, avoiding these bad habits will help to improve these relationships and identify why you may not be as liked as you think you are.