Thursday, September 10, 2009

Purpose-Centered and Bridezilla

Although it is the class in which I will most likely get the worst grades, I have been appreciating some of the readings we have been doing for LO (Leading Organizations). As my roommate and I watched "Bridezilla" over lunch today, I could envision all sorts of practical applications for the class, so I will present the concept of "purpose-centered" through the use of a case vignette and analysis.

When Christina showed up to her wedding reception venue, she was completely shocked to find that instead of going all the way to the ground, the table linens were a good half-inch above the ground. This may not have triggered such an emotional reaction if it had not been such an awful week. Her bridesmaids, specifically chosen for their size, had not only lost weight, but insisted on wearing control garments in order to make their bridesmaid dresses more flattering. Later, forgetting that it was a winter wedding, her bridesmaids were unprepared to stand out in the cold of winter in their strapless dresses for the rehearsal, and insisted on wearing pajamas over their shoulders. The worst part of the week had been the big fight with her fiance, who claimed it would be okay to have the ceremony in the gazebo! How could he not understand this was the most important day of her life, and that the aesthetics of the gazebo simply would not do?

Although there are many frameworks that can be applied to this situation (in particular, the model on self-awareness), I would like to analyze it from a problem- vs. purpose-centered approach. Right now, Christina is very focused on the small things, and what she sees as the immediate solution to her problem. Her thinking is focused on the details of her wedding day and how she will appear to everyone. If Christina were to take a step back, and look at the big picture, she would realize that what really matters is getting married to John. It doesn't matter whether her bridesmaids are more or less attractive than her, or that she has to wait an additional 30 seconds for the horse and carriage to get to her. None of the guests will notice the length of the tablecloths. All that matters is that she say "I do" and sign the papers that will result in her marriage to John.

What Christina needs to do is take a step back and figure out why she is concerned over tablecloth length and bridesmaid size. Perhaps there are insecurities that need to be dealt with on a deeper level. It is unlikely that having heavy bridesmaids or the right linens will ultimately solve these issues.

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