Marriage is an emotional relationship, not a business partnership. However, recent studies have shown that some time-honored management strategies can be successfully used to save more than the bottom line; they can save your marriage, too.
In an article last week in the AtlantaBlackStar.com, the magazine looks at a new University of Illinois study that applied management strategies to relationships.
The results indicate that using these strategies, normally meant for managing employees and departments, can help save your marriage.
Relationships are like cars in that you have do certain things to keep them running,” said Brian Ogolsky, Ph.D., professor of human and community development. “Especially when your goal is to strengthen and preserve your bond with your partner.”
He and fellow researcher Jill R. Bowers looked at 35 studies and 12,273 individual reports. What they found was that there are five key business management strategies that can be directly applied to your marriage. They are openness, positivity, assurances, shared tasks, and a shared social network.
To open up your relationship, the researchers advise talking to your partner about your feelings, fears, goals and concerns in an honest and direct way.
Positivity can be built up in your marriage by making a concentrated effort to let your spouse see the best parts of you, not what’s left over, by making time to have fun together and by being a fun person in your spouse’s eyes.
It’s also important to assure your partner that you’re in the relationship for the long haul, to divide household chores and responsibilities equally, and to make an effort to include your partner’s friends and family in some of your activities,” Ogolsky said.
Ogolsky and his team say that couples who practice at least one of these management strategies will see a positive impact on their relationship.
Persons who use any of these maintenance strategies will not only be more satisfied with and committed to their relationship, they are also likely to continue to love and, yes, even like each other throughout its duration,” he said.
You probably employ at least some of these strategies to make your work life better and more successful. If they work there, maybe they’re just what you need to help save your marriage!