Having regular business meetings is an important habit for couples. There are so many moving pieces in any family that it’s easy to seem like we’re nagging one another (“Honey, did you fix that leaky faucet yet?” “The lawn still needs to be mowed.” “Is dinner ready?” “Are you taking Sally to basketball practice?”).
Having weekly (or even biweekly) couples’ business meetings will make you happier because:
- Instead of having what seems like a constant stream of nagging, you will have one time and place to discuss all these individual things.
- You’ll have your partner’s full attention. Instead of asking your wife to bake something for the office Christmas party while she’s doing 10 other things (and risk her being super annoyed), you’ll ask her when she’s calm and ready to respond.
- You don’t have to worry about forgetting something important (if you’re like me, you remember these things when you’re in the middle of doing something else). Instead, you’ll stop what you’re doing and take a quick second to update a shared agenda or make a note in your phone of whatever needs to be discussed at the next meeting.
- There’s accountability; if your partner forgets to do something, you can come back to it next week.
- Bigger issues like deciding on a larger purchase, doing taxes or planning vacations often get missed or rushed which creates frustration and disappointment. Now, you’ll have a planned time to deal with these things.
Having a weekly business meeting is important for couples so they can keep up with these types of issues and stay connected to larger goals. The goal of these meetings is to leave with some outcomes or at least some clarity. Having structured guidelines is one of the ways you can make sure this meeting is fair and constructive.
Here’s your business meeting checklist to ensure success and consistency:
- Pick a weekly day and time to meet and keep this as “sacred” as possible.
- Meet at a time when you’re both “fresh” and open to discussion. This generally means no late night or super-early morning meetings.
- Each of you should write down agenda items and bring these to the meeting. Do NOT get to the meeting and try to think of something to talk about. As things come up in your daily lives, write them down so you remember to discuss them. A great option for this is to create a shared GoogleDoc and add things to it continuously.
- The meeting should never go for more than 45 minutes. Anything not covered or resolved should be carried over to the next week’s agenda.
- If one person tends to dominate the meeting with their own agenda items, you can use a timer and each person should get equal time to present items. Really keep track and when your time is up, you’re done. Be responsible for your own time.
- If something gets too heated, change direction or stop the conversation and come back to it another time or bring it to couples’ therapy.
- Be conscious of sharing the time and both speaking.
- Use Collaborative Questions as much as possible.