Have you ever worked for a dysfunctional company?
Odds are you have, and you probably were very unhappy.
By the same token, if you have been blessed to work for a terrific company, you probably really enjoyed your time there.
As someone who has experienced both, I have learned there are practices that successful companies have in common.
In the years since we said, “I do!” my husband and I found these practices could be applied in our personal lives to keep our marriage strong.
Through our words and our actions, we have modeled these for our daughters to use in their relationships as well.
1. Practice good manners. Being polite, avoiding embarrassing others, and practicing discretion are just a few of the good manners that build trust and gratitude. These go a long way towards forging strong relationships, and are equally important at work and at home. While this may seem to be a no-brainer, business people often tend to treat one another with more grace and thoughtfulness than they treat their spouses. Take some time this week to check on the manners you use with the person that matters most to you.
2. Spend time and money on education. No matter how long you’ve been married, there are always things you can learn to improve your relationship. Likewise, successful companies invest in their employees because they know it will pay dividends down the road. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend lots of time or money to gain this information. For example, if you aren’t a subscriber to Engaged Marriage yet, sign up here to get the very best tips to help you live a married life you love. The resource page is chock-full of great suggestions, too.
You can also attend events, such as those put on by Winshape Marriage or Family Life. My husband and I attended the Family Life Weekend to Remember a few years ago, and also did the Art of Marriage event, and we recommend both enthusiastically, whether you are engaged, fairly newly married, or you’ve been together for decades.
3. Take time to recharge. This is a simple and powerful principle, whether you are skipping lunches at work or vacations at home. A change of scenery does wonders to clear the mind and refresh the spirit. Plus, a less stressed person is able to think more clearly and respond in more creative and healthy ways. You can take walks around the block, spend a weekend away, or book a luxurious cruise to a warmer climate. For terrific ideas on date nights, check out these suggestions from The Dating Divas.
4. Have something to look forward to. To stay interested in and engaged with either your job or your marriage, you must have things to look forward to. Author Jeff Goins wrote recently that having something to look forward to keeps the monotony at bay. He recommends having “A common goal, something to anticipate, (that) can bring you together in ways that the daily grind won’t.” Depending on the stage of your marriage—newlyweds, new parents, empty nesters—a weekly coffee date or short walk with just the two of you may be all you can manage, and may be enough for the short term. What’s important is that you look forward to this joint goal with joy.
5. Make your marriage a priority. As the old saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Thriving businesses understand there’s more to life than work, and they strive to be as flexible and accommodating as possible to help individuals make time for the other important things in their lives. Making your marriage a priority will help you weather life’s storms. That strong bond doesn’t develop, though, without taking regular and intentional steps.
You get to choose daily how to act towards and react to your spouse. When you apply these five lessons from the workplace to your relationship, you will be laying the groundwork for a healthy marriage that will delight you in good times and sustain you through the hard ones.
Question: What lessons from the workplace for a healthier marriage would you add to this list?
Kim Hall created Too Darn Happy to help you build stronger and more joyful relationships through offerings of fresh perspectives and practical advice. Having been a wife for thirty years and a mom for almost as long to two daughters, she also shares occasional cautionary tales of her own character building life experiences. Kim recently authored her first ebook, Practicing Gratitude and Discovering Joy-Thirty Days to a Happier You. You can connect with Kim on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, too!