Last Saturday I got married.
This week we were meant to be somewhere exotic, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes and making plans for the start of our married life together. But. Then. COVID-19. Let’s face it are any of us living the life we planned for just now?!
We were the last wedding our local church conducted before officially closing for services, and despite the cancelled reception, appropriate social distancing, and copious quantities of what our minister called ‘the holy hand wash’, we had a truly magical service.
When I put our plans into the context of preparing for a negotiation we started with the basics. In terms of objectives our 'must get' was to get married. On the 'intend to get' list was the date, church, reception and of course the dress for me and the kilt for my husband to be. Who am I kidding, the dress was a 'must get' too?! We also had planned flowers, music, including a harpist, wedding favours, a cake, photographer and a slightly embarrassingly fancy car that I’m pretty sure could have been seen from Mars! Not to mention the honeymoon of course.
Then came coronavirus and everything changed.
Our realistic 'intend to get' changed by the day. Fewer guests became hardly any guests and ultimately no reception at all. With that went the flowers, the harpist, and finally the honeymoon.
Sometimes in light of new information, our objectives change, and whilst far from what we hoped and planned for, we sit here happy with the outcome. We achieved our ‘must get’ and were lucky enough to get married on the day we wanted, in the venue we wanted. We also managed a few other 'intend to gets' as well. My husband was in his kilt, the photographer turned up, at an appropriate social distance, and the cake was delicious.
Like in all good negotiations, sometimes we need to be realistic with our objectives, and flexible with our strategy – on both counts it stood my husband and I (love saying that) in good stead.
We’ll never forget the day we got married, and I for one will never lose the abiding memory of anti-bac-ing the mothers-in-law from an appropriate social distance while my new husband signed the register.
Oh and the dress?... of course the dress… it was fabulous! Mission accomplished.
About the author:
I began my commercial career in FMCG working with Mars UK and Pedigree Masterfoods. After a number of years in business development in the UK I moved into a senior international business role spending four years living, working and negotiating in Israel, Turkey and Croatia. Since joining Scotwork in 1999 I have been engaged by clients in the UK, Europe, USA, Asia and the Middle East and continue to enjoy my love of negotiating across a variety of cultures and industries.