Tips for Working With Your Spouse [Insider Story]
Unless, of course, you also happen to live with your coworker. Working with your significant other can be a great bonding experience, bringing out your strengths as a team, but it can also be, well, tricky.
What’s the key to working with your spouse? We turned to some Insiders with experience, who offered some tips:
Take extra time to listen.
Joseph and Jessica Vaccaro own a family restaurant in Missouri—he’s the chef, and she takes care of many of the behind-the-scenes details, in addition to helping out when they’re short-staffed or have other immediate needs. Working together can be challenging, Jessica says, “but I think the best tip would be to try to see it from their point of view. Understand what their major responsibility is and listen to what they’re saying. Just try to listen.”
Support in the moment—and find time to talk about the shared challenges.
Kyle and Tia McClinton both grew up playing sports and now work as elementary school gym teachers, emphasizing the value of teamwork with their students—and with each other. “We notice each other’s body language,” Kyle says. “She doesn’t even have to say anything. We’re always there for each other, and we try to make things as easy as possible for one another.” He adds that the two “face the same things on a day to day basis. So it’s nice to be able to relate to somebody who knows the grind that you go through every day.”
Center your shared family goals, including scheduling.
Lisa and Tyler Harvey both work in the medical field, and used to live in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where the big-city medical profession is built around working nights and weekends. They moved to a smaller town in northern Minnesota in part so that they could both work in a clinic with predictable daytime hours. The shift has allowed them to maintain their careers while also spending more time with their kids, including regular escapes to their cabin in the summer.
At the end of the day, the couples agree that working together brings another layer of depth to their relationships. Just as they may each have a different Sleep Number setting, while sharing a bed that works for both of them, working together requires recognizing and adapting to what’s best for each person on a given day.
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