Sarah and I have worked together for more than 25 years and here are some of the most important things we’ve discovered. Try these tips for working with your partner or spouse:
1. Adapt your communication style if necessary. If your partners’ styles differ, then one or the other is going to have to make changes to accommodate the other person’s style. For instance, if one of you is expressive and the other isn’t, this can be disconcerting to both of you. Recognizing how each deals with disagreements is the first step. To learn more about communication styles, read John Gottman’s book The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples.
2. Don’t interfere with each other’s work. It’s important to allow each person to take full responsibility and perform his or her work without interference. That means no unsolicited meddling, coaching, Monday-morning quarterbacking, backseat driving or peeking over each other’s shoulders.
3. Learn how to handle thorny financial and legal affairs. When a couple disagrees about or doesn’t know the full implications of choices like changing the form of business organization, handling nondisclosure agreements or seeking investors, one partner may be reluctant to act, and it can paralyze the business. Be ready to discuss major decisions that confront you with specialists like lawyers and accountants. If problems arise that involve your relationship, seek the help of a professional business or family counselor. The number of counselors and coaches specializing in partnership and family businesses is growing
4. Give yourselves time for a private life. When family members work together, it’s easy to allow your work to consume your entire relationship. For some this means taking separate vacations; for others, it means just taking time out from work so you can do something different together, like taking a walk together for half an hour at lunchtime.
We believe from both our experience and from couples we know who successfully work together that when it works, it can be one of the most satisfying parts of your life.
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We’ve worked together for more than 25 years and here are some of the most important things we’ve discovered. Try these tips for success working with your partner or spouse make sense.
Tags: working with your spouse, working together, Monday-morning quarterbacking, backseat driving or peeking over each other’s shoulders, separate vacations.
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