As a relationship expert who has worked with entrepreneurial women for decades, I know that entrepreneurial women yearn to create a business they feel passionate about – and one that makes money – while having a partner who supports them. Entrepreneurial women know true success is found within our relationships – not money. This week’s article discusses the final question of my 5 key questions: “Is your communication within your relationship open and honest? This is perhaps the most burning question of the series because the way we communicate with ourselves and with others ultimately determines the overall quality of our life – and the success or lack thereof – of everything we do!
If you want to gain your partner’s emotional support for your business, you must use effective communication skills. Below are the 3 most important effective communication skills necessary for creating a life you love, a business that makes money and a spouse who supports you.
1. Verbal Communication. Many people fall into the trap of assuming their partner knows and understands the goals they have for their entrepreneurial business. They fail to communicate to their spouse the positive way their business will impact the quality of their life together, from a financial, social and emotional perspective. Assuming and NOT communicating is practically guaranteed to backfire on you. We cannot ever assume our partner (or anyone for that matter) knows anything. Period. We must effectively communicate with our partner – with words – things we want them to know. However, it is not just an exchange of words that defines effective communication. Effective communication is a two-way street between partners; it requires an exchange of feelings, thoughts and beliefs between you and your partner.
Another important aspect of verbal communication is the choice of words we use to get our message across. The more emotionally loaded a topic of conversation is – the more imperative it is to choose your words carefully and sensitively. Just because you are in an intimate relationship with someone doesn’t mean you can throw diplomacy out the window – or just blurt out your thoughts and feelings with total disregard for your partner. Now is a good time to remember my strong belief that you can say just about anything to anybody – IF you know how to say it – by choosing to have your conversation at the appropriate time using carefully sensitive words.
2. Non-Verbal Communication. Approximately 80% of all communication takes place non-verbally. The most important type of non-verbal communication is body language. For effective communication to take place – it is important your body language – and all other forms of non-verbal communication – is consistent with your verbal communication. If there is a discrepancy between your verbal and non-verbal communication, your partner will be confused. Confusion leads to misunderstandings and misunderstandings lead to fights. Consistency in your non-verbal communication is assured if you say what you mean and mean what you say – because you have nothing to hide.
3. Active Listening – notice I wrote the word “active” to describe the listening process. So what exactly is active listening? Active listening is the ability to listen without a hidden agenda. The way you do this is to listen with an open heart, an open mind and an open soul. Let’s be honest. Most people listen with a hidden agenda which usually takes place in one of two ways. The first way occurs when people listen with the intention of trying to “catch” the speaker providing false information so we can prove them wrong (and ourselves right). I often refer to this type of listening as the: “Ah ha, I got you…” way of listening. The second way most people listen is by silently standing by, and although they are not speaking, and appear to be listening, they are actually just waiting for the speaker to finish speaking so they can finally talk and say what they want to say. When we listen either one of these two ways – we are not really listening to what the other person is saying at all; rather we are listening with our own agenda.
The above 3 methods will provide you with the necessary tools you need for having the communication in your relationship be open and honest – providing you with the effective communication skills you need for creating a business that makes money with a spouse who supports you.
This article concludes my series where I answered the “5 Key Questions Entrepreneurial Women Must ASK to get what you want from your business and your Intimate Relationship”. I am confident you now have the necessary relationship tools you need to get what you want!!
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