“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
This quote rings true in business, but never more true than with couples, and in particular couples working together to accomplish something great. If you’ve ever experienced the ups and downs of working together with the one closest to you, you’re likely nodding in agreement right now. The power of a team is rewarding.
Removing the Layers
Our lives are filled with demands to perform, and we rarely have an “off day” even when we’re “off”. In the course of pressing in to create something great in your life, the romance and fun in a relationship can dwindle and fade. If we don’t continue doing the little things that keep it fresh, we can lose sight of the need to constantly get better for each other.
So, is it possible to work together with great excitement, purpose, and passion? Yes!! In fact, we’re living it, and know many couples doing the same. Continue reading, and you’ll be inspired to work better to accomplish your personal, family and business goals—together!
Can We Talk?
Gary Chapman talks about understanding each other’s love language—simply stated, how you prefer to give and receive love. If you find yourself feeling as though you’re falling short in filling each other’s needs, read his book and take this fun and eye-opening assessment. You’ll be amazed by the results and will experience the value as you begin to practice this language in your relationship.
Every worthy undertaking starts with effective communication, and practicing effective communication takes time and commitment. Commit yourself to the practice of sharing your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, respectfully. Your spouse is not a mind reader. Couples who communicate early and often, can work through even the most challenging of situations.
Our Labor of Love
We are passionate about mentoring and encouraging couples to work better together. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a list (in no specific order) of 12 practical tidbits to keep your working relationship fresh, fun and fruitful:
- Humor. No relationship is exempt from challenges. Whether the challenge is related to the business or the children, keeping a balanced measure of humor can help reduce the blow. Laughter does well like medicine.
- Set Boundaries. If there was no foul line in sports, every ball would be fair. Set some healthy boundaries to keep the foul balls out of the game. A simple agreement like, agreeing to discuss matters calmly and away from the bedroom, or shutting down before winding down, can help keep a healthy balance in the relationship and also keep stress away.
- Down Time. Building something together is time-intensive and requires downtime to keep the engine running during uptimes. Taking the time to nourish each other without distractions or interference from competing projects, is crucial to a happy home and business. Remember what brought you together, and keep those feelings alive through conversation, touch, affirmation, and new adventures.
- Play Your Position. This little tidbit can keep resentment at bay. Talented people like to use their talents, but talent can also be overused. So, it’s a good idea to identify your strengths early on and share the workload. Keep in mind, you are a team working together toward a shared goal. You don’t want to be a “ball hog”. Give your partner an opportunity to shine as well. Play your position and allow your spouse to play theirs.
- Connect With Nature. Getting out in nature does wonders for the mind, body, and soul—the perfect recipe for peace within your relationship with each other and the people you serve. Clear the cobwebs by taking a walk together without talking about current challenges.
- Goal Setting. Where are we going, and what needs to happen to get there? Setting short and long-term goals together is essential to keeping a level of transparency in your relationship and also allows for clearly defined “next steps”, which cultivates trust, agreement, accountability, and anticipation.
- Grace for the Race. We’re not perfect beings and misunderstandings will occur. However, sprinkled with a hefty dose of grace, even the largest thoughtless act can be forgiven. Practice extending grace to your partner. It has a profound lingering effect and will encourage your partner to return the consideration.
- Listen with the intent to learn rather than to respond. Having a grand come back to a healthy criticism does not earn you points. It’s a good practice to listen to other’s concerns and seek to understand why they feel the way they do before forming a response. Seek to understand before being understood.
- Me-Time. Even as you unplug to spend time with each other, having a little me-time is also healthy. A walk, a workout, some time out with friends and family, or an activity you enjoy will increase your affection and the connection in your relationship. Have a spa day, alone.
- Compromise. Not a topic that many like to discuss, but if you look at the act of compromising from the lens of gaining ground rather than from the lens of losing ground, you will earn the respect and admiration of your spouse and your relationship will flourish. Ask yourself, what matters most? What do we ultimately want to accomplish?
- Put Some Sugar on it. If you’ve ever tried to eat unsweetened Cheerios, or Mini Wheats without sugar, you’d understand the value of sweetener. Our words our powerful—the words we speak to ourselves, and the words we speak to each other, are incredibly important. Here’s a helpful article on the importance of staying mindful of the words we allow to leave our mouths.
- Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing. Remember the purpose of why you started working on something together in the first place. It’s important to keep this at the forefront of your mind. Stay in the driver’s seat, and don’t let the external and internal stresses of life take you off track.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and there were so many nuggets we could have added. However, we hope it provides inspiration to get creative in your approach to working better together.
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