Keys to Developing Leadership Skills as a Couple – Brooke Faulkner

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Powerful individuals have worked together in leadership for ages. However, from time to time, leadership alliances have been forged in the fires of more than just professional acquaintances or even friendships. They’ve revolved around romance. The concept of the “power couple” is a captivating one, especially in an era where millennials and Gen Z-ers are rewriting the equality script. The idea of two individuals, each successful in their own right, working to support each other in their careers while simultaneously forging a lasting relationship in their private lives is an exciting one. However, the concept is as difficult to pull off as it is rewarding to achieve.

What are some of the things that typically go into becoming a power couple? How do they achieve such a dynamic level of leadership and success while simultaneously managing to tend to their own relationships? Let’s break it down.

Show Me the Money

One crucial element that enables couples to launch into “power couple” status is making sure that they get onto the same page, financially speaking. The financial independence of two successful individuals can make it tempting to keep monetary matters separate, but the ability to plan, execute, and revisit a budget together is a key collaborative skill that translates into numerous leadership scenarios. It demonstrates the ability to recognize differences in opinion and motivations, and enables individuals to look to the long term in order to collaboratively plan for the future, both of which are critical skills for leaders in the professional world.

Please Hear Me

Communication is a vital component of most successful human interaction and organization. It is a driving force behind companies, relationships, and, in this case, both. Many of the necessary factors that go into creating effective communication for leadership within the workplace are naturally present in a couple’s relationship from the get-go. This deep level of communication includes things like being committed to collective success, sharing the same goals, inter-dependence, accountability, and interpersonal skills.

The Feeling is Mutual

Millennials, in particular, have been developing a new breed of “power couples” through their desire for equality, a strong connection, and shedding of stereotypes within their relationships. In general, driven millennials are fairly independent and know what they want and don’t feel the same pressure to commit to someone right away as previous generations did, so they are willing to wait it out for that one person who is the right fit. This fresh focus has created a new norm for couples as they look for significant others who empower them synergistically. This mutual respect and encouragement helps push them to new heights of achievement and allows them to function without one feeling threatened by the other as each contributes “to the team.”

Natural Team Building

Companies go out of their way to create team building exercises. While offices are packing up their gear to head off to a local escape room or volunteer for community service together, power couples naturally practice the team building aspect much closer to home.

Tending to a relationship behind closed doors naturally involves a sense of team building and camaraderie that helps to develop an individual’s willingness to work with others, hear what they have to say, and make authoritative decisions that unify rather than splinter a team. Any successful couple will have a high ability to communicate and work as a team, and those are skills that must continually be fostered together.

An EQ as High as Your IQ

Leaders are often clever, knowledgeable, and brimming with information. But an overachieving IQ hardly translates into success without a little bit of help from another area: emotions. The ability to truly be social can be extremely difficult to grasp, which puts a power couple in the perfect position to gain a cutting edge advantage.

The constant “iron sharpening iron” aspect of a relationship between two powerful influencers can help hone their interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, both of which are key aspects of emotional intelligence or “EQ.” It encourages them to both look inward, tending to their own emotions, as well as tune into the emotions of others, creating a level of self-awareness that is critically important for any successful leader.

Trust Me

Finally, there is the concept of trust. The ability to delegate tasks to another person rather than micromanage them yourself is difficult. In a truly equal relationship, though, a power couple has the chance to learn how to trust their partner in spite of the temptation to lean on their own strengths. The ability to relinquish control and trust a partner or coworker in a professional setting is a highly valuable skill for a leader to possess.

Couples can learn a great deal from their relationship regarding things like trust, emotional intelligence, communication, and teamwork. All of these can be critical skills that translate directly into their professional lives as well. Together, couples can develop their leadership abilities in ways that are difficult to reproduce on an individual basis and gives them a unique advantage in the workplace as well as their own individual relationships.

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Brooke Faulkner is a full-time writer and full-time mom of two.

She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader, and dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons creativity enough that she’ll get more than groans and eye rolls in response. To read more of her work, follow her on Twitter @faulknercreek