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Don't Ruin Your Relationship. Follow These 5 Business Strategies to Create Success in Your Relationship Applying what you know in business to your relationship can result in relationship success.

By Robin Buckley, PhD Edited by Micah Zimmerman

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You are successful in your career. You are adept at setting goals and achieving them. You have fought back imposter syndrome. You know your strengths and apply them for effective results. Overall, you are used to working for and achieving what you want in your career.

Now how about your relationship?

Many think creating a successful relationship is different from starting a successful business. We try to invent new ways or develop additional skills to enhance our relationships instead of employing the skills and strategies that have worked effectively in our professional roles. Instead of wasting time trying out new approaches to improve your relationship, why not use some basic business strategies to get the same positive results in your relationship?

Related: The Key to Success? Relationships.

Implement prevention in place of intervention

Many couples consider strategies or outside support when their relationship is in crisis. But in your professional role, would you wait until your business or company is in trouble before intervening? Not likely. Ideally, you would be proactive, choosing preventative steps and protocols to ensure your business is successful long before the company is in a downward spiral.

The same is true for your relationship. Taking steps before trouble or as soon as you identify challenges makes the situation easier to avoid or fix. Having protocols in place when the connection is strong allows you and your partner to be ready to address future challenges with strategic and objective thinking instead of emotional and reactive choices.

Create a mission statement

Every company has a mission statement. Mission statements help organizations move towards their goals. A mission statement provides clarity on the "who," "what," and "why" of the organization and provides guidelines by which the company functions and operates. Overall, an organization's mission statement offers the purpose and values of the company, keeping everyone involved focused on the same goal.

So why don't you have a mission statement for your relationship? If your business has one to stay focused on and connect people with, then a mission statement can do the same for your relationship. It gives direction to you and your partner, allowing you as a couple to achieve the relationship you want. Overall, a mission statement becomes the compass to achieve the goals you are looking to achieve, whether in your company or your relationship.

Related: 4 Techniques for Crafting a Mission Statement Worth Remembering

Outline roles

Establishing roles within a company allows for clarity around who oversees specific areas. This avoids redundancy in using time and skills and confusion when too many people are involved in one place. In our relationships, however, few couples concretely establish roles or adopt the outdated societal model that everything should be done fifty-fifty in a relationship.

Think about this. Does your company have more than one CFO? More than one COO? Why not? Of course, we can answer these questions. Having one CFO, for example, allows for the best person to oversee that area of the business. They use that oversight to provide recommendations to the business leaders and implement those decisions.

In a relationship, delineating one person as the CFO to oversee the couple's finances and provide scenarios and recommendations to the other partner allows for the same efficiency and success as in business. Your partner then has time and focuses on fulfilling the responsibilities associated with their identified roles.

Related: You Can't Do Everything, and If You Try to You'll Do Even Less

Identify pain points

In your business, you likely identify pain points like specific issues faced by the customers which inhibit the goals of the company. When entrepreneurs or business leaders talk about pain points, it allows for a clear identification of challenges are to address them. It also provides an objective discussion to determine strategies to alleviate those pain points.

Couples don't typically talk about pain points in the relationship. Instead, you and your partner might have conversations in which you identify things each other is doing that are annoying, frustrating or aggravating. These often become personal attacks and create an environment focused on individual blame.

If you and your partner discuss pain points — the external variables that detrimentally affect the relationship — it facilitates a more objective conversation to create strategies to address the pain points. For example, instead of saying, "you don't listen when I talk to you," identifying the pain point of ineffective communication offers more opportunities for preventative protocols rather than emotional reactions.

Related: 4 Signs a Relationship Is Failing

Schedule evaluations

Your company will likely review progress every quarter. You are also expected to go through an annual review of your role and contributions to the company every year. What's the purpose of these types of reviews?

Quarterly and annual reviews allow for evaluation of how the company is doing. These identify areas that may need focus to keep the company thriving. Individual assessments will enable you to understand what areas you excel in and what areas you could improve. The overall purpose of evaluations is to allow the organization or individual to reach optimal performance levels.

So when do you and your partner do your relationship evaluation? This isn't about sitting down with your partner when things are going poorly in the relationship; it isn't about discussing your relationship on a date night. Quarterly reviews of your relationship are structured like business meetings. You put them on your mutual calendars. You have a plan of topics to discuss. You review your mission statement to ensure it aligns with your relationship and where you and your partner want it to go. You analyze your pain points or progress on the pain points. You establish your relationship goals for the next quarter. Essentially, your relationship evaluation ensures that you and your partner have a regular check-in to identify issues before they become problems, just as you would do in business.

Ultimately, making business decisions based on reactivity or subjective emotions doesn't typically result in success. The same is true for your relationship. But you don't have to reinvent the wheel to build success with your partner. By relying on strategies that have worked in your professional life and generalizing them to your relationship, you create a framework of objectivity to achieve the success you want in your personal life strategically.

Related: Why it is Important for Companies to Have Periodic Employee Performance Review

Robin Buckley, PhD

Executive and Couples Coach

A cognitive-behavioral coach with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Dr. Robin Buckley helps successful women and couples thrive in their careers and relationships.

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