I stopped short of titling this post, how to get your husband to listen to you because I am sure it is a problem in all business partnerships regardless of relationship status, but my motivation for this post comes from my own experience as a Builder’s wife.
Working with your significant other certainly increases the demands of small business, communication is the top of that list. It can be challenging to get your point across at times, or even simply to ensure that you are being heard.
There are a few hacks that can help you though, let’s explore.
How To Get Your Partner To Listen To You
Schedule A Meeting
First and foremost, how many of us can honestly say we schedule business meetings with our partners? I know for many years I didn’t until I stumbled across this idea. The structure of the meeting was as important as the meeting itself.
Our meetings were structured like any other business meeting, with one of us even taking minutes. This allowed the space to feel and remain professional, which is really helpful if you are romantically involved with your business partner.
When communicating with a romantic partner about business, everything can feel like an accusation or laying blame at the others feet. This professional way of holding a meeting allowed us to feel and behave in a professional manner.
To run a meeting in a business-like manner, you’ll need to schedule a time, set an agenda and practice not speaking while the other is speaking. We found it necessary to hold an item when we were speaking to visually remind each of us who was talking and who was listening. (sounds kinda stupid but it really helped)
Be sure to take minutes, as we all compute information in different ways. What may have gotten missed or forgotten from the verbal communication, can easily be read and recalled in the minutes.
Far too often we confuse our romantic language with our business language when working with our partners. I don’t mean we are talking love at work, I mean the tone in which we speak and the words we use is more familiar than we would use with another business professional.
This can impact how you are heard, and at the time make it difficult for you to get a point across. Treat your business partner like any other professional when talking about work, it really can go a long way towards ensuring you both are heard.
There came a point in which my partner struggled to hear some of the things I was trying to express, we needed help. Help can come in lots of different forms, podcasts, blog posts, Facebook groups, mentors or coaches.
We regularly help tradies in our Facebook group and have had many partners share a post as a way to show their partner some other opinions. Getting help can be a real time of growth for a business as you are able to share your thoughts without the emotions getting in the way.
All in all, running a small business can certainly be challenging, but with these tips, hopefully communicating with your partner is not one of those, and if it is, check out the Trade Desk as a great source of help.