Red Roses, Champagne, Chocolates, and. . . Great Conversation!

 

by Lisa Chin-A-Young

 

Lisa Chin-A-Young is speaking at the Better Marriages Conference: Educating Couples, Building Relationships  July 11-14, 2013 in Raleigh, NC.

 

When we think of what to gift our spouse for Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to consider treating them to a special bouquet of roses, or a nice bottle of champagne, or that indulgent box of chocolates. All are symbolic of our love and appreciation and are lovely gifts to be received.

 

This Valentine’s Day, in addition to considering what special something would be appreciated by your spouse – remember to include the gift of great conversation! Too often now, our lives are so busy that we don’t get a chance to have meaningful conversations that help to keep us involved in each others’ lives and working together as a great team at home.

 

At home, between work, kids, activities, etc, we tend to have little snippets of conversations here and there and then wonder why there may be misunderstandings at times. As a comparison, this would be like trying to run your work team with just now and then random “at the watercooler” conversations, rather than the focus on proper communication through updates, meetings, proposals, or off-site strategy days, among others. Taking the time to keep each other up to date on the little as well as the bigger things in life at home is critical, but too often lost in our daily “busyness”.

 

This Valentine’s Day, while you’re enjoying your chocolates together or sipping your champagne, take the time to talk about the things that are important in your lives. Often, these important items are not necessarily urgent, and so we never seem to have the time for them. For example, do you both have a common view of what your top priorities for the year ahead are?

 

Follow this simple exercise:

 

Independently, each write down what you believe your Top 5 priorities (numbered 1 to 5) for 2013 are. Once you share them, you may discover that your lists are very similar or perhaps very different! Use the opportunity to catalyze some great constructive conversation – listening and understanding why there may be differing views, and reinforcing areas of common priority.   Then go on to create a list of your joint Top 5 that you are both committed to and will work together or support each other on. It is important to be choiceful and select no more than 5. Realistically, this is all that you can do proper justice to in a single year. Make sure that you also write these down and repeat them until you both commit them to memory!

 

This is a great way to prioritize where you focus your resources (time, energy, and money) in the year ahead and ensuring that you are working together as a team on your priorities. A simple, but very effective way to ensure that both of your daily actions support your key goals for the year ahead and that you are working synergistically rather than counter-productively – as great teams do!

 

Here’s to a Happy Valentine’s Day with lots of great conversation!

 

Lisa Chin-A-Young is Co-Founder of The Marriage Development Company and Author of “Smart Business Thinking at Home”

 

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