Working with Your Spouse

Good communication is critical when 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. During those conversations, you don’t always think through every detail of how you’ll handle things.

This can backfire when a major decision comes up regarding your accounting firm. Then the questions start piling up – who gets the final say? How much veto power does each partner have? These are questions that will arise. With that in mind, it’s better prepare for them ahead of time.

Avoiding big problems in your firm 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.

Divide Responsibilities

When both partners are responsible for everything, that adds strain to your relationship and your firm. Fix this by defining the roles and responsibilities in your accounting firm.

Once the responsibilities and roles are defined, then you know who’s in charge of what. And, whoever is in charge for that role has the primary decision-making power.

Realize, however, a balance exists when working with your spouse. This doesn’t mean 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 seem obvious, but when you’re speaking to someone with a different idea than you, you stop listening. Most partners make the mistake of formulating a response which strengthens their argument. Instead of listening to respond, try listening to understand.

By doing this, you may realize your spouse’s decision is the best option. 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 you get the same courtesy back.

When working with your spouse, listen to what your partner says instead of formulating your response. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth 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 creates frustration and hurt feelings. Then any hesitation from your spouse will feel like a personal attack – although that’s not the intention.

Working with Your Spouse Requires Respect

Once a decision has been made, it’s important to respect that. Working with your spouse means you won’t always be in full agreement. But once something’s final, then respect that opinion.

When making decisions, remember that you and your spouse are considering what’s best for your firm, and ultimately, your family. Mutual respect keeps your firm and your marriage solid. And, it makes working with your spouse on a daily basis easier and more enjoyable.

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

Remember You’re Working toward the Same Goal

Ultimately, you went into business together because you shared a mutual goal. It’s beneficial to write down your business goals and circle back relatively often to reinforce those shared goals. Overall, this influences your decisions and ensures you’re both working toward the same thing.

If you find your goals differ from your spouses, then set time aside to discuss that. As a result, you’ll have a better understanding of where your spouse is coming from.

Ultimately, Communication is Key

It’s completely normal for your opinion to differ from your spouse, but you both need to make sure you’re voicing those opinions. When working with your spouse, communication is critical. It’s important to let your spouse know what’s on your mind and vice versa.

Open communication removes hidden agendas. If you continue to run into issues with decision-making in your accounting firm, you may even need to invest more time in your marriage outside of your firm. That’s because personal tension affects your working relationship. If that’s true, you’ll want to identify there’s a break down. Then, work to get correct that so you’re both on the same page again.

Making important decisions when working with your spouse is an extremely rewarding experience, especially when you both put aside differences and come to an agreement. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Making important decisions when working with your spouse is an extremely rewarding experience, especially when you both put aside differences and come to an agreement. Like anything else, it requires effort for  you and your spouse to make the best decisions for your accounting firm.

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