Tag Archives: Power of Two

5 Marriage Skills That Can Also Help in the Workplace

The following is a guest post by Naomi Grunditz with Power of Two, an online marriage education program that teaches the skills couples need to have a healthy, loving, and joyous partnership.

After working with the PO2 curriculum and watching how my coworkers interact using the skills we teach, I’ve realized that marriage counseling doesn’t just teach you how to save a marriage, it’s useful for your interactions in all sorts of relationships, including business. That’s because running a business is a bit like running a family, but with more people. Here are the top five marriage skills we teach at Power of Two that can really help you succeed in the workplace:

1. Just Say It. No matter how well you know someone, it’s safe to conclude that they cannot read your mind. If you want to improve communication in marriage, we recommend you just say it instead of insinuating and hoping your spouse will pick up on your hints. Same goes for the office. Confused about something? Just ask! Think you deserve a raise? Say it! Be clear and concise (but tactful) about what you want and feel.

2. Use “I” statements. Power of Two teaches that while a marriage is the blending of two people, you still remain your own unique individual. Avoid invading your spouse’s space by telling him or her what to do or feel. Instead, talk about yourself and what you want, especially when you disagree (avoid “you…”). Using this skill in the office will help avoid confrontation and arguments.

3. Delete “But.” Using “but” deletes what the other person just said. This automatically sets you up for opposition. Instead, first look for what is right or useful about your partner’s statement. Then add to it by using “yes, and at the same time…” This makes room for both of your opinions and will lead to better decision-making.

4. Exit and re-enter. When an argument starts heating up, sometimes you can get so angry that it’s hard to communicate. At this point, all angry parties should exit the conversation. Take a walk, get a non-caffeinated drink, stretch. Then come back and start negotiating again. Good business is conducted when all involved are relaxed, calm and comfortable (provide food and water at meetings!).

5. Clean up thoroughly after upsets. Even with the best communication skills, there are bound to be a few upsets once and a while. When this happens, never, ever, just ignore it and move on. First, both parties should state what they regret and admit their part in the problem. Then, analyze what went wrong and what can be done differently in the future. End with a solid double apology. This will help you maintain an open and friendly work environment and move towards more constructive solutions in the future.

So why not try using the Power of Two marriage skills outside the home? Next time your boss bugs you about that report for the 10 billionth time, cool down with emotion regulation, then use some “I” statements to state your concerns and improve your professional relationship. I just wouldn’t give him a kiss and a squeeze to make things all better … not everything that works with your spouse will work in the office!

Photo courtesy of PhotoXpress.com

Make Your Own Marriage Retreat for Two

Are you interested in a marriage retreat, but either don’t want to spend the money or don’t have childcare or a whole weekend available? Power of Two has an interesting way to accomplish the same objective in a way that even busy couples on a tight budget can manage.

I introduced you to Power of Two (PO2) here; the organization provides online marriage skills training for members at a cost of $18 per month. The staff offers individualized assessments, marriage articles and fun videos in a way that is neutral (doesn’t favor one spouse), entertaining and low cost.

Abigail Hirsch, PhD, a psychologist with PO2, says some of her clients told her they had created a “make your own” marriage retreat. Here’s how:

  • Schedule an evening out with your mate at a local coffee shop (e.g. Panera/Starbucks) or anywhere that has free Wi-Fi. Ideally you would schedule time once a week for 6 weeks.
  • Schedule a sitter or swap with other friends who have children.
  • On your scheduled night, bring your lap top, and spend about 20-30 minutes watching entertaining videos or doing a marriage tip from Power of Two. Chat about it, maybe practice a new skill, then have some dinner.  Enjoy the rest of your evening together.

If you follow this timeline, you will have accomplished six hours of marriage skills training in a relaxed manner with minimal expense. It might be enough to motivate me to schedule those date nights instead of relegating them to the not-so-important list of things to do.

Dr. Hirsch says an added benefit to ongoing training is that couples are more likely to maintain positive skills in marriage with regular practice and ongoing maintenance than they are with a rare weekend retreat.  Of course, both can be beneficial.

You have a few more days to quality for one of two free lifetime memberships to Power of Two! Make a comment on last week’s post, or send me a private message (see my contact page) to qualify for the drawing.

Have you ever attended a weekend retreat? If so what was your experience? Would you be open to this kind of training experience with just the two of you and your computer? What do you think of the idea to create your own weekly mini-retreat?

Photo Credit: ©Andrey Kiselev/PhotoXpress.com