BLOKES: Put down the tools and just LISTEN

By Rebecca Plant


You DO NOT have to fix everything.

I’m not loving that I am the one to write this, because I don’t want to be another nagging woman in your life.

But, seriously, just for a few minutes, please listen up.

You do not have to fix everything.

Yes, whatever she has to say may need fixing at some point.

BUT, for the sake of your business, what comes out of her mouth his not an order for you to get your Bob The Builder hat on.

She’s not asking you to fix it.

She’s asking you to listen.

At our Client Intensive recently, I was chatting with one of the men in our group.  We were talking about knobs (nope, not the kind on a door) — the kind that makes what you do hard.

He said ‘communication’ was one of those for him.

“I just want to be able to be quick.  I want to get rid of the niceties.”

“What do you mean?” I said. “With clients?”

“No,” he said “with (let’s call her Jan).”

“Oh, right… I’m still not sure what you mean,” I said. “Can you explain a little more?”

“Well, some days I just want to say what I have to say and get onto the next thing. I don’t want to have to do the catching up bit, or give instructions in a pleasant way.”

Right (I said as I nodded my head in complete understanding).  Got it.

The complexities of running a business with your lover are unprecedented.

There is no business relationship that rivals this one.

You guys share everything together … A home, a name, children, A BED.

And for some reason, you also share the worst of each other.

It’s the unique thing about a life coupling.  We choose the person who can show us the best of ourselves.  But, we also choose someone who can show us the worst.

There is very few people who will forgive your bad behaviour like your wife (or your husband).  They know the real you and love you. And, as such, are willing to stick things out when you are less than your best self.

BUT, when you are running a business together, that behaviour-forgiveness cycle needs to be

all a little fast forwarded.

And, it requires an addition to the process.

Instead of the behaviour-forgiveness cycle, it becomes the behaviour-honour-forgiveness cycle.

Working together can be tough.

And, before she came into the business, it happened your way.  And whatever reason has brought you two to be working together, it’s now got to be done in a way that works for you both.

And, that means flexing some muscles maybe you haven’t had to before.

So, please, just LISTEN.

I know that niceties can sometimes suck. And there is some work to be done on her part too.  This is not a one-sided affair.

BUT, you LOVE HER. So, make her important for that one moment.

The secret to your growth is not fixing everything that she sees needs improving, or even everything she sees as being off kilter.

The secret to your growth is Understanding.

The secret to your growth is Leadership.


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About the Author

Rebecca is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Institute for Couples in Business. Bec is also trusty wife to husband and business partner Ed, and mum to Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Bec has been working with business owners, and her Super Powers include making complex problems simple, creating strong connections, and motivating teams by building kick-arse culture. Bec is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and hosts popular podcast Boardrooms & Bedrooms.