Mistakes, I’ve made a few

I used to think that things going wrong at an event, was an indication of my ability as an Events Manager – I would come away from any experience potentially weaker than stronger. I would take each and every incident to heart, and in doing so let it eat away at me until I became so overly critical that I had missed the point completely.

And what is that point?

It doesn’t matter how well an event goes, or how well you think it has gone – there is always something to learn from each and every event that we do. Each client is different, their expectations vary too and with that, we can only work towards ensuring that as many of our bases are covered as possible. There still may well be an occasion when something goes awry. How we deal with that at the time, to make certain that our guests are aware of as little of the drama as possible – is what then creates a feeling of both safety and security on the part of our clients, that we can deal with the unforeseen and that next time around we will be even better prepared for what may come up.

Those in the industry that think they know it all don’t tend to last all that long – as no one will ever be able to tell them that they were wrong, and it is unlikely that their work is so outstanding that the client will be willing to let that attitude pass – rather feeling that next time around they can find a more flexible personality to work with. My best advice would be to meet any problems head on – own up and take responsibility if a challenge that arises is directly your responsibility, and note down how things were handled and what lessons can be learnt, if it wasn’t.

Take the experience and let it make you stronger.

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Priorities, have you got yours?

What a week, and with a weekend full of work ahead, as well as the same for the next, I am barely into a 13 day stretch. As I sit here, my brain is frazzled and all I can really do is smile. Sometimes you just have weeks like this – where your teams pre booked holiday always seems to pop up at the wrong time, one leaving to seek out new opportunities and one going on six months paternity as you do…..all in all, spread just a little thin – to say the least.

And so, with the phone ringing off the hook, questions left, right and centre from clients and colleagues, and any number of events on my doorstep, all of which want time I can’t give them, how are you meant to prioritise to a level that doesn’t then leave you in need of medication as you work 15 hour days as though it’s the norm?

Does something always have to give?

At times like this, there is the need to be direct – with others in order to buy the breathing space you need, and with yourself, enough to decide which of the “all important” things on your lists have to get done first. The option of running yourself in to the ground is not really an option at all, and yet, I am sure you as I, have sat with head in hands and wondered just when the merry-go-round will stop.

Key too, is the support and guidance you receive, or can call upon from others. Some may be lucky enough to have a mentor who is fully aware of just what is going on around them, or someone who – when taking all things in to consideration, is able to suspend their own “priority” list in favour of those who need their support. None of this is easy. Everyone is relied on by someone else, deadlines are not exclusive, and at some point, we all run the risk of missing something that proves key – and can then affect the success of our events.

My pearls therefore are this;

Speak up. People are not mind readers, and if you don’t speak then how is anyone meant to know you need help

Breathe. Do your best to keep your head whilst those around you are losing theirs. It tends to be at times like this that real skill shines through

Balance. Your own, and the time you still set aside for those that need you. Don’t expect more from others, than you yourself are willing to give

And if all else fails, fake it till you make it using your best “no problem” smile

I would love to hear just how you manage your priority list – is there one thing you never compromise on come what may?

Think Before you Speak, Action To Our Over Reaction

 

Busy week, very late nights and very early starts. I guess that it comes with the territory, and as such is not something that you can say you never knew about once you have accepted a role within the hospitality world. It is funny, cycling to and from work at just the time of day when the streets are the quietest, the need in some instances to remind yourself to concentrate, and avoid becoming hypnotised by the sound of your own thoughts.

So there I am, coming to the end of a long evening meeting in advance of a following days conference. I am having to cover all of the same bases for the fifth time, and change a room set up for the sixth. It’s late, i’m tired and a little hungry, and although I know that I still have work to do, I figure a cup of tea and  some peace in the office will make the job get done that little bit quicker.

So down stairs I go, and to my astonishment, three of my team are still at their desks working. Let me put things a little more in to perspective. When I say late, I mean past ten. My team are usually in from nine at the latest, and whilst working a regular twelve hour day may be all to familiar to them, in some way, it shouldn’t have to be. Time management is of course something that needs to be reviewed on an ongoing basis, and there is always the fine balance that has to exist to ensure that some kind of work life balance can exist.

This was when the build up of pressure from the last few days decided to hit me, and I began an email that was directed at my boss, and the idea that it was just ridiculous that the team had so much work on that this was how they were spending their evening.

And then I stopped.

I read and re read the email, and could’t escape the fact that I wasn’t happy with how it sounded – whatever tenses and stresses I placed on the words, I just couldn’t make it sound how I had thought it would when keys were first pressed, and I had to push myself to take a step back and think slightly more wider picture about my motivation fo writing, and what it was I actually wanted to say.

In the end, I deleted the whole thing, and simply sent a message that was brief, and to the point – that I felt it would be worthwhile to touch base the following day and catch up about structure, expectation and plans for the future. I brought myself the time I needed to really think about what I wanted to say, and more importantly how I was going to say it. When I went in to speak with her today, I made the point I wanted to and the plan was initially set in to motion

It is very easy to jump, and how high you jump can sometimes just determine how hard you then fall. It is hard , and especially when you think you have something important that needs to be said, to take the step back that you need in order to really determine the possible outcome of your words. In a world where people so often prefer to write rather than just pick up the phone or speak face to face, so much is left wide open to interpretation and perception from the person at the other end of the correspondence, and with that comes too many ways of possible misunderstanding.

On occasion the words do come out before the brain kicks in to gear, and dealing with that can sometimes make us all look a little foolish. The advice I would give is simple, and something that no doubt mothers have recommended for an eternity, “think before you speak” and give yourself the breathing space to well, breathe.

I would love to hear your thoughts, how best do you ensure that you are able to keep the emotions in check when they need to be, and yet still make your point in the right way?