Well, Phil knew this day would come and it did he had to face the people that had a stake in the wedding. The Planning Meeting was scheduled for this afternoon. He had to explain to each of them why they couldn’t have all they wanted. Even harder would be to get the six of them to agree on a plan for the yard and house arrangement for the wedding.
He had done a great deal of preparation and work to share with each of them both their plan and the issues he saw with each of them. He also created a picture to share of what the yard would look like if they all got their wish. This picture needed no explanation to say what was wrong. These he already shared with each person.
He had then prepared a picture of his daughters vision with a few changes to include some of the thing each of the others had wanted. He was careful to ensure that none of these took anything away from his babies desired dream. He knew that it would not be enough by itself to win over most of the parties involved the conversation form the initial get together was enough to let him know that it was going to be an uphill battle all the way.
Never the less he was there to defend and improve his daughter’s ideas and could care less about the others desires unless they added significant value to the plan. He had a long discussion with her the night before about the plan and how they needed to approach each person’s proposal to come out with a usable project plan. He also shared and reviewed his proposal with her and she was ecstatic with what she saw. He carefully explained each change he had made and why.
He left her knowing that she loved the product he was going to propose and that was all he needed to be able to stand firm against all comers unless they added something that would improve the program. So as time approached for the meeting he picked up his computer and the handouts he had prepared to share at the right times and walked to the back yard.
He thought by having it out here they could get a better feel of what he was presenting. He had set up a projector and screen so that everyone one would be able to see his presentation. Then he had arranged the chairs so that all would have a great view and such that no one would be in a dominant position. He walked over and connected his computer to the projector and put up the presentation title page to help everyone to get in the swing of things.
As he got everything ready his wife Janet came in and took a seat in the center. Phil asked her if she could leave the two center seats for their daughter Barbara and her fiancé Fred. She thought that was a great idea and moved over to the chair on the right of center.
Next came Bob and Joanne, Fred’s parents and Phil guided them to the two chairs on the left. The Minister came in and gladly took the chair on the right of Janet. They quickly jumped into a conversation while they waited for the couple to arrive. Finally, the young couple came in and apologized for being the last to arrive.
Then Phil reminded them he had sent each of them a packet with two sets of plans. The first was a copy of the plan they had proposed and the second one was a plan that included all of the additions that the others had added. He let them know that they need to come up with a happy medium this afternoon so they could get started on the construction aspects of the plan.
Everyone nodded in agreement and assured that they were sure that it was going to be easy. With that Phil stated reviewing each person’s plan individually pointing out things that he liked and those that would be a problem. It was easy to get the participants to agree to remove thing form the drawing board as it was usually a five to one vote on each item.
He carefully went through Bob’s, then Joanne’s, then the Ministers small but needed list of things. Next he went through Fred’s proposal which was equally small. Finally, he addressed Barbara’s ideas and discussed a few that would conflict with the Ministers needs and how they could modify the two ideas into a common solution that both agreed would be wonderful.
Phil knew better than to open it up for questions or new ideas just yet so he kept moving through his proposal even though there were several hands that went up during his review, responding to each with the same response we will get to question shortly. We need to get a complete proposal on the table first that should make everyone one happy first.
Then he took the ideas that he had not gotten removed from each of the other four plans and integrated them into the growing concept plan one at a time. Once he completed building the grand picture of the proposed proposal he started pointing out where the parts would be located in the yard by pointing to each of the spots.
At that point Phil could delay the inevitable no longer and opened the floor for questions. He very patiently took each question or change request and added it to the current plan explaining why it just didn’t look right. And then asked how many would like to add it to the plan. Ever addition was shot down. After about four hours and a couple of hundred requests, the concerns started to slow down and finally stopped.
After about another two hours he was able to get a unanimous vote on accepting the original plan he had put fourth for review. They all congratulated each other on coming to an agreement so quickly and after about a half hour or so they all had left except for Phil and Janet.
Janet looked over at him and told him that she still wanted to get her fountain in there somewhere for the punch. Phil smiled and assured her he would see if there would be a way to make it happen and look just perfect in the proposed layout.
Phil knew that now was when the real battel would begin as each came to him and pushed for just a little tweak to get a special thing from their plan into the final after the fact. He was well aware of each person’s attitudes and commitment to get their way in anything they were involved in. And then he told Janet that in the morning he would continue but for now he was worn out and needed food and refreshment to help his recovery.
So far has been able to win the day and hold the line only because he prepared a good game plan and stuck to it consistently through the meeting pitting one party against the rest of the group on things he didn’t feel would fit well. Now the real work would begin tomorrow as he drew up the plans for permits and construction schedules. Be sure to come back next time when we will work through the construction phase and see if Phil can keep his plan on track.