Tennessee Entrepreneur Louis Upkins Jr. published the following tips in a Business Week article called Manage Your Marriage Like a Business to help successful businesspeople use their work skills to help their marriages. Specifically, he recommends consistent excellent customer service strategies rather than “working at” a great marriage.
I think he offers excellent advice. He also reminds us that “a wide body of research suggests that the status of our marriages influences our well-being at least as much as the status of our finances.” He says he is amazed by the number of successful executives who on the surface seem to “have it all,” but who fully admit they are anything but happy. Here’s a summary of his ideas; link to his article for more details:
- Know your customer. Stay in tune with your spouse’s changing needs, hopes, and concerns. If you’re not sure what they are, ask.
- Earn their business every day. Just as you would impress clients with attention and treat them with respect, do the same for your partner.
- Don’t make excuses. Customers (and spouses) want solutions, not excuses. When you make a mistake, acknowledge your error, and then fix it.
- Work on a win-win strategy. Regularly ask your spouse, “What can I do to help you be successful?” Then follow through with what they need. Use your planning skills to balance the family’s needs, for example if one spouses is putting their career on hold to raise children.
- Mix business with pleasure. “We seldom give our spouses the rewarding experiences we give our best customers. Find ways to inject new life into your relationship via activities that have no purpose other than to say, ‘You matter.’”
Upkins reminds professionals that they strive for excellence on the job, and they shouldn’t settle for anything less of themselves at home. In fact, the skills acquired on the job can help you retain your most valuable customer, your spouse.
What other business skills do you think come in handy in your marriage? What necessary skill sets for marriage are very different from what you learn at work?
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