Couples Weekly Business Meeting
Have you ever thought about your marriage, partnership, or household as a business? I hate to take the romance out of it, but just for a minute, consider this idea because I think there is quite a bit of truth to it. A business has a schedule, a budget, goals, working relationships, individuals who contribute to a mission or cause based on their skills, and a to-do list of daily work and ongoing projects. Sound like running a household to you? Me too!
The similarities are actually quite clear. One thing that almost every business has is a staff meeting. So why in the world don’t we have this similar practice at home? Engaging in a regular meeting with the two individuals in charge of the “company” can increase organization, make for better planning, ensure expectations are clear, save money by reviewing the finances regularly, and improve the management of all of the many moving parts of a household. Plus, many of the challenging areas of household management and partnership come back to communication. If there was a designated time, to PROACTIVELY take care of the “business”, much miscommunication and conflict could be avoided. Meetings help people who are collaborating on the same goals to work together, express their needs, and set expectations. These types of conversations about your life are super important and yet so very often they are missed or even avoided.
Here are some ideas and tips for setting up your Couples Weekly Business Meeting:
TIMING. The first thing to think through is the timing. It is ideal to have this meeting occur at the same time every week, and if weekly just doesn’t work, make it every other week. You definitely want to set yourselves up for success! Choose a time when there will be no distractions. If there are kids in your home, make sure your meetings are at a time when they are well cared for, preferably out of the house or sleeping!
FOCUS. The next area to think through is how best you can focus on this meeting as a couple. Make sure again that if there are kids in your home, they are taken care of, cell phones are off/silenced/in another room, and this meeting is the only thing on your calendar at this time. Don’t come to the meeting hangry! Come well nourished and well hydrated. Take care of these needs beforehand, JUST like you would for a meeting at work. These distractions will very quickly take away your focus.
KINDNESS. Start with kindness. Check in with your partner. Make sure that you both feel heard and supported if emotions come up. I think it is useful to start the meeting with a general check in…ask each other how do you feel things are going? How was this past week? What can I do to help support you in this upcoming week? For some, it may even be helpful to start the meeting with a few minutes of deep breathing, just to get to a kind and calm place.
AGENDA. Think through together what your agenda should include. A few ideas…General Relationship Check In,Calendar Review, Budget Review, Weekly Tasks, On-going Projects, Goals, Kids Needs (if applicable). Order these in a way that makes sense for you but keep in mind any agenda items that might be more intense or triggering and surround them with items that will be more connecting. Don’t forget to bring your sense of humor to help lighten up intense work. Always end on a positive note as the hope is that this meeting will set the tone for the week!
PREPARATION. Come prepared with your notebook, laptop, paperwork, calendar etc. but also, and likely more importantly, think through the emotional preparation. These can be tough conversations… Budget? Individual contributions? Goals? Hard conversations for sure! As you begin discussing adding a regular business meeting to your life, talk through what are the areas that are stressful and what are the emotions that might come up and need some support. Money talk is almost ALWAYS stressful so give this one some thought. This may even include, who is driving if you are doing a review of your budget online? Who holds the mouse at which discussion point/agenda item (this one is from experience!) may actually be really important. Identify historically sensitive situations that are going to be intense, and then be intentional about your pre-work. Coaches do this before games. Dancers do this before performances. You have to get centered and into the right mindset so that you can begin within the best space possible This is the pre-game, pre-show work that is so critical to being successful.
WRAP-UP. It is crucial to wrap-up the meeting well. Make sure that expectations for the week, the projects, the finances, etc. are clear. Repeat any notes that were taken. Ensure that calendars are aligned. And most of all, end in connection, whatever that looks like for the two of you. Take a moment to thank each other for all that you bring to the partnership and household. Hug. Celebrate the good work you are doing as a couple!
There are many variations on business meetings and so I think there can be on this type of meeting as well. What is most important is that you do what works best for you as a couple and that you stay open to talking about what doesn’t work. Try out different ways of running the meeting, evaluate, then adjust and then re-evaluate and readjust. Know that it may take a little more work in the beginning, especially as you figure out the little emotional nuances like who’s driving the mouse! But after a little bit of practice, your Couples Business Meeting may end up being your favorite weekly date!
Through relationship coaching, I work with people who desire meaningful and positive partner, personal, and professional relationships.If you are someone looking to find support in working towards better relationship in your life, there are therapists such as myself that specialize in supporting these needs. Please contact me here. I offer free 15 minute consultations where I’ll try to get an idea of what you are dealing with and how I can help. I can let you know if I think therapy would be a good fit for you. We will get a good sense of each other and can decide if I’m the best fit for you. Together we will make a plan for the next steps.