Career Rules to Apply to Your Relationship
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Work It, Girl!1 of 9
By Woman’s Day
At work you can get ahead by being courteous and solicitous, honest and upfront. Doesn’t the same hold true of the strongest marriages? We sure thought so. Here are eight commonsense workplace tips that you can easily apply to your love life.
Think First2 of 9
Before you launch into a complaint or a potentially difficult discussion, always ask yourself, “Will what I say make me more or less likable to the person I’m approaching?” says clinical psychologist Jennifer Hirsch. You don’t want to aggressively charge into your boss’s office — the same holds true at home.
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Be Succinct3 of 9
Often when we’re fired up about an issue (being unfairly asked to clean up a mess at work; feeling like the housework is split unfairly), we tend to let other issues trickle in and muddle our message. “The best way to get your message across, at work or at home, is to first check that you’re not adding in other issues, then get right to the point,” Hirsch says.
Use “Feel-Felt-Found”4 of 9
One great piece of business advice that helps change the minds of stubborn colleagues is the feel-felt-found technique, says Jess McCann, dating coach and author of You Lost Him at Hello. “You first relate to the other person by saying, ‘I know how you feel about XYZ,’” she says. Follow that with, “I felt that way too. And then, I found that ABC was a better approach.”
Watch Your Tone5 of 9
That old adage “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” holds true in the office as much as it does at home. In a heated meeting, if you’re the only person speaking in an even tone, you’re the one who’ll eventually be listened to. When you’re angry about something and it comes across in your voice, all your partner hears is the anger part, not the substance of what you’re saying.
Say You’re Sorry6 of 9
“People let pride and ego get in the way at work and in their relationships,” says McCann. But sometimes the best way to smooth over an argument is to admit your fault and move on. Says McCann, “Taking responsibility gets you more respect — especially in the long-term — than pointing fingers ever will.”
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Be Classy7 of 9
Let’s say you suspect your boss stole your idea — or that your husband didn’t mail the insurance papers as you asked. “Give both of them the benefit of the doubt, and come at the issue by saying, ‘I wonder if you realize that such-and-such happened,’” says Hirsch. Taking the high road gets you more, not less, respect.
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Over-Deliver8 of 9
Keep promises manageable, then exceed expectations. “If you make grand promises to your spouse, you’re in danger of disappointing when you can’t deliver,” says McCann. A small-but-nice promise (I’ll get you a birthday cake) is easy to meet, and you’ll get a bonus when you exceed it (with a fabulously decorated homemade cake of your own).
Build-Break-Build9 of 9
Tackle difficult conversations with this approach, McCann advises. “First, build the other person up: I’m so happy that you’ve been taking care of the dinner dishes; it’s a huge help. Then break it down: It would be great if you could wash the pots instead of just putting them in the sink. Then build up again: I really appreciate how much you’ve been pitching in."