It’s a trend these days – you cannot successfully manage both your personal and professional life.
This delusion is justified when we take a look at the lives of massively influential entrepreneurs. Elon Musk is already divorced twice, and Sergey Brin separated from his wife in 2015.
Here’s how the problems might shape.
You have a grueling day at work. You expect a relaxed environment and a happy partner.
Instead, the issues bleed into a conversation with your spouse. Your stress is amplified, and your judgment gets impaired.
Isn’t it obvious: You need to regain your mental poise.
But poor communication can ruin the sanctity of a relationship. Indeed, communication is the cornerstone of a successful marriage.
So let’s explore the three characteristics of effective communication. Here goes number one.
1. Empathy (even when you’re being criticized)
As per a study by Forbes, empathy ranks among the top five traits for a successful entrepreneur.
And it makes sense. To understand your partner better, you need to shred off the condescending nature. Rather, put yourself in your spouse’s shoes – it will deepen your bonding.
Secondly, embrace criticism. Your partner wishes the best for you. They know you inside out. Do you flip out when they mention your idiosyncrasy? Then you fail to understand your spouse’s position.
If it helps, treat the critique of your personality as a separate entity. And collaboratively have a dialogue on how to deal with it.
Here’s a tip: When your blood starts boiling, smile, take a breath and pause for a second.
2. Honesty and Transparency
I get it. You want to curtail the bad news from your partner to shield them from the worry. The truth is it will help neither one of you – because work pressures find a way home and creep into your relationship.
- If your business is facing a financial crunch, don’t hide it your partner.
- If you are launching a product that will lead to long work-hours, your partner should be aware of it at least a month in advance.
Remember though, that it doesn’t equate to being nasty and blunt. Acknowledge the current emotional state of your partner and don’t let the warmth slip out of your communication.
Authenticity in communication will lead to a genuine connection with your spouse. It will garner trust and build a good rapport.
3. Active Listening
Many entrepreneurs are only physically present in the conversations with their partners. They passively hear their spouse while mentally being occupied with the board meeting that happened in the morning.
If you take official calls after work, then it’s unfair to your family. Once you are home, you need to give them your undivided attention.
I have had instances when I felt disconnected with my wife. So let me tell you the systematic framework we created for our conversations…
I, along with Yurda, wrote down our individual and collective goals. Further, to eliminate unspoken expectations, we defined our roles and responsibilities. We also schedule the time to discuss errands, vacations, and the like.
Using this technique, my business mentor discovered that his wife wants to become a marriage counselor. Then they worked together towards this goal.
Special note for the guys: Occasionally in a conversation, you need to keep your analytical brain (obsessed with problem-solving) aside. Your spouse is probably seeking validation and you need to just let her vent it out. Remember that you also have your own set of gloomy days.
Strive to give your marriage the very best of yourself; not what’s left over after you have given your best to your work. If you want your marriage to blossom, then you need to treat your work and family equally.
What’s your favorite characteristic of effective communication from the above? Let me know in the comments.