Learning to Work With Your Colleagues, Not Against Them

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(Photo via Liana Garcia Joyce)

Recently, I got an email from a florist who’s annoyed with a new wedding planner she’s working with. In the past, she’s always had an unspoken agreement with planners that all floral choices would be left up to her. This planner, however, came in with a very big client and keeps trying to dictate how the flowers should be designed.

I think this happens more often than we care to admit. However, like everything else in life, there are two sides to every story:

On the one hand, this florist is right. She’s an artist who knows what she’s doing, and she should be respected as such.

On the other hand, the planner’s job is to make sure the client’s needs are met. There are times when a planner absolutely should step in and verbalize what a client may be having trouble expressing. After all, that’s one of the arguments for hiring a planner. They are experts at planning events and that includes knowing something (probably a lot) about flowers.

Before I made the leap into event design and was working solely as a florist, I’d sometimes get frustrated when planners acted like a mouthpiece for their clients. However, once I started designing events and offering planing services, I realized just how important it is for planners to advocate on behalf of their clients.

The key is respect; we should always treat our colleagues with the utmost respect. Also, remember that both the planner and the florist in this situation are looking for the same gold — a happy client. In other words, they’re on the same team, and there is no reason in the world to ever make a colleague feel small and unappreciated.

My advice to this florist was to try talking to the planner directly. It never hurts to clear the air and gently remind everyone that the client comes first.

Dear Readers, have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you handle it?

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