Working with your spouse

If you’re working with your spouse, then you know that one of the biggest sources of tension can be the decision-making process. When working with your spouse, you don’t always think through every detail of how you’ll handle things, which can be a big problem when a major decision comes up. Then the questions start piling up – who gets final say? How much veto power does each partner have? These are questions that will come up and it’s better to be prepared for them ahead of time.

Avoiding big problems in your business AND your personal life can all come down to how you and your spouse handle, not only the major decisions, but also day-to-day ones. Ideally, you’ll have a plan in place from the beginning.

So, what can you do to ease the decision-making process with your spouse BEFORE problems arise? We’ve come up with five tips you can do right now to set expectations for how things will go when a decision needs to be made.

working with your spouse

Good communication is critical when working with your spouse.

Divide Responsibilities

One big way to put a strain on your relationship and your business is to have both partners be responsible for everything. It’s extremely important to divide all the responsibilities in your business between the two of you.

Once your responsibilities are divided, then the person who is in charge of that aspect of the business can have primary decision-making power in that area. Now, this doesn’t mean that one person makes these decisions in a vacuum or without the other person’s input. Rather, this does help keep both of you from spinning your wheels.

Take Time to Listen to Each Other’s Point of View

It might sound simple, but oftentimes when you’re speaking to someone with a different idea than you, you’re not listening to what they say. Most partners make the mistake of formulating a response that will strengthen their argument. Instead of listening to respond, try listening to understand. You may come to the conclusion that the other person’s decision makes more sense than yours does. Or  possibly that a completely different decision needs to be made. Either way, if you give your spouse the courtesy of really listening, chances are they’ll give you the same courtesy back.

When working with your spouse, listen to what they say instead of formulating your response. Click To Tweet

Don’t Dig in Your Heels

While you may think that you’ve come up with the best decision of all time, it’s likely that your spouse won’t see it that way. When bringing a decision to the table, it’s best to keep things “open handed.” What we mean by that is you don’t want your decisions to be set in stone before bringing it to your spouse. Being “closed handed” with your decision will lead to frustration and hurt feelings for both of you. Then any hesitation from your spouse will feel like a personal attack when it isn’t.

Respect each other’s decisions

Once a decision has been made, it’s important to respect that. You won’t always agree with all of your spouse’s decisions, but once they’re final, you’ll need to respect that they believed they were doing what was best for your business. Mutual respect will keep both your business and your marriage afloat and make working with your spouse on a daily basis much easier and more enjoyable.

Decision-Making Process

One of the biggest sources of tension can be the decision-making process.

Remember that you’re working toward the same goal

Ultimately, you went into business together because you had a mutual goal. When making decisions, you need to understand that you and your spouse are both trying to do what’s best for your business and ultimately your family.

It’s beneficial to write down your business goals and circle back relatively often to make sure that everything you do is with those goals in mind – this will help drive the decisions you make and ensure that you’re both working toward the same thing.

If you find that you each have different goals for your business, then set time aside to align those goals and have a better understanding of where your spouse is coming from.

Ultimately, Communication is Key

It’s possible that you need to step back and evaluate your communication before you can even start making decisions. It’s completely normal for you to have differing opinions from your spouse, but you both need to make sure you’re voicing those opinions. You need to be able to freely let your spouse know what’s on your mind and vice versa.

Communication will ensure that there are no hidden agendas that will keep you from making a harmonious decision. If you continue to run into issues with decision-making in your business, you may even need to invest more time in your marriage outside of the business. It’s possible that personal tension could be affecting your working relationship. Communication will help you identify where the break down is, and how to get you back on the same team again.

Making a firm business decision when working with your spouse is an extremely rewarding experience, especially if you’re able to put aside your differences and come to an agreement quickly. Let us know in the comments what you and your spouse do to keep decision-making a peaceful and productive process.