Gaining Independence in Your Planning

by Jul 16, 2013

Updated – June 30, 2020

Are you being watched? Many planners work in environments where every step that they make is being watched. Many event planners struggle with gaining independence with their planning. Yet on the manager level, some think that they need to ensure that novice planners are doing well by following up frequently.

Events certainly need to go well, but does that mean that it has to be micromanaged in order to get the desired result? If you find yourself dependent on your manager for every little step you take, it might be time to cut the umbilical cord. To be a capable event planner, you’ll need to become more independent in your planning. How do you do this? I’m not advocating for you to become a complete rebel in your work, however, becoming aware of your situation is always the first step.


Identify specific areas that you are dependent

Finding specific areas in which you feel micro-managed or restrained, is a great first step. Whether it is how you manage your time, or how you cross-check your rooming-lists, every planner has a sense of where this area would be. Write down every area that you feel confident enough to take the step away from being dependent.

If you are runnning short of these areas, you might want to ask others for some insight into your performance as an event planner. Asking your peers or other friends in the workplace is a brave step of really soliciting the feedback that you need in order to gain independence. Perhaps you have worked with a team in the past, if so, approach them for their experience in working with you.


Reset expectations to gain independence

Identify these dependent areas and reset expectations with your superior on how you will meet them. Don’t be afraid to have the discussion with your superior to consult with them on the areas you have identified. Establish your new position of independence. These discussions, when done right can be very relieving for both parties. Let your superior know that they can trust you and that you don’t need any further hand-holding. Help them understand that by gaining independence, it will allow them to become more independent as well.


Move forward with the new plan

Once you have gained buy-in from your superiors, move forward diligently. Make sure you are always following through on the items that you discussed so that your superiors can learn to trust you more. By trusting you more, they may give you more independence.  The worst that can happen is that you drop the ball after you fought so hard to not be dependent. If this is the case, have another discussion to determine where the ball was dropped and how things can be better next time.


Gain your independence

These short steps for gaining independence is not just for your leader, you can try them out with a team that you are leading too. The main outcome is to have a discussion to reset expectations in the environment that you work in. Having these discussions, in the end, will be beneficial for everyone.


Are you struggling in gaining your independence in your planning? What is your current struggle, and how can you use this method to be able to finally level up with your situation? Let me know in the comments below.


P.S. Do you ever feel that you are in over your head? Check out this post to see if you are!



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