Using The Thought Bubble

Let’s face it: weddings bring out opinions in everyone! But what do you do when your very sweet Aunt Mary announces in front of everyone that she thinks your bridal party should wear big floppy picture hats…for your modern winter wedding!?

Every bride has gotten at least one suggestion that makes her think “you want me to WHAT??” — but, as a kind-hearted person, she probably doesn’t want to cause hurt feelings by laughing in the suggester’s face. Or, it’s a lovely idea…but totally doesn’t apply to your wedding.

In consulting, we have this great concept called the parking lot. That’s the place where you write everything irrelevant that is brought up during a meeting — it gives you a chance to acknowledge the suggestion but not get off track. I’ve “leveraged” (consultant-speak for borrowed!) the idea for weddings as the “thought bubble.”

Whenever I get a suggestion for the wedding, I’m telling the person “let’s put that in the ‘thought bubble’ to revisit later.” That way, if it’s way off base, I can privately share that no, we in fact will NOT be carrying pink parasols (lovely as they might be for a garden wedding) because we’re getting married at night, without embarrassing the person by shooting down their idea in a group setting. If it really is a great idea, I can check into how we might be able to…”leverage” the concept in a way that works for us.

By establishing a policy of responding to every idea in the same way, love it or hate it, you offer at least the appearance of giving every idea the consideration it’s owner thinks (justifiably or not) it deserves. This allows you to lessen the emotional impact of not using someone’s idea, and gives you the “count to ten” time you may need before responding to some of the more…”creative” concepts you get in the days before the wedding.

Published in: on February 11, 2009 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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