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Power Couple
Politics

How to Make Stronger Decisions
With the One You Love

shawn-qa

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I would love to know how you and Gina make decisions in your business. What is it really like to be a couple that co-creates magnificent wealth and purpose together— the good, the bad and the ugly?

— Shawn Neff

Shawn, I love this question. Let me start by saying that for Gina and I, going into business together and sharing a purpose in life has been an amazing journey. We’ve been working together for the majority of our twelve year relationship and in this moment I can say it feels absolutely wonderful to be so aligned with my soulmate.

However you’re right to suggest that it hasn’t always been easy. We have been through tough times and without a doubt a lot of those darker moments come down to the politics of decision making. It’s something we’ve had to work on a lot to get to a level of understanding and compassion that benefits us both personally in our relationship and professionally in our business, so I’m happy to share some of our insights with you here.

“Why Gina and I found each other is that we already shared a similar life purpose.”

Undeniably part of why Gina and I found each other is that we already shared a similar life purpose. My vision has always been to make a difference in people’s lives, while Gina is more specifically passionate about empowering women. Her mission fit seamlessly into mine, so once I got the message from the universe that it was time to move on from my career as a chiropractor, going into business together felt like a natural evolution.

So we built our working relationship on a strong foundation, which is essential. We knew we were meant to be together, that we could agree on our big picture goals, our commitment to our spiritual paths and our commitment to each other. But what we’ve had to come to terms with is that even though we agree on who we are and where we’re going, we do not and will not always see eye to eye on how to get there.

These disagreements can cause overwhelming discord and at different points in our lives, it has indeed gotten ugly. Believe it or not, we’ve even come up against almost calling it quits. Fortunately our commitment to each other has seen us through these challenges, but it wasn’t without effort. We had to give ourselves the space for introspection, to dig deep and work to change the patterns that threatened to tear us apart.

One of the awarenesses we’ve developed that has been so transformative is to respect and honor our distinct strategies for decision making. The study of human design taught us that everyone has a unique way of processing information and choosing what feels right to them. It instantly became clear that Gina and I have very different methods and we realized that neither is right or wrong.

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Being highly intuitive and independent, Gina is able to work from her gut. She can sense immediately whether something is a yes or a no for her. Meanwhile I typically need more time to be able to feel really good about my choices. Even if I can immediately lean toward a yes or a no, I will need to sit with something before I have true emotional clarity and it can take anywhere from one day to two weeks.

This difference initially drove us both crazy, but once we accepted it we became a much stronger team. We’ve been able to listen to each other more openly, show serious consideration for each other’s perspectives, and become comfortable enough to admit when we’ve been right and wrong without pointing fingers. The more we’ve worked through these elements, the more successful and powerful our decisions have become.

Part of it has been in recognizing that every so-called “bad decision” has its function. Playing the blame game can be very destructive for any relationship, so we’ve learned to play the learning game instead. It demands that we each take full responsibility for our decisions while staying positive, supportive and solutions-oriented. By focusing on our larger goals of having a thriving business and a thriving relationship, we’re able to leverage every failure into a future success.

Sometimes when you try to divert someone you love from making a choice they feel strongly about, they may miss out on a lesson they need to learn to get to their next level. I know that for men like me with an instinct to provide and protect, it can be really difficult to give your partner that space and freedom to do something you disagree with. But it is possible to become conscious enough to do so peacefully when you focus on support rather than control.

“One of the awarenesses we’ve developed that has been so transformative is to respect and honor our distinct strategies for decision making.”

At this point in our working relationship, I know when to step aside. I may not always agree with what Gina’s doing, but that’s okay. I don’t have to huff and puff and insist she makes the “right decision”—I don’t even go there. I let Gina experience her experience in the way she needs to experience it. My protection is without question in that Gina knows I’m there for her every step of the way and will spring into action the second she asks for my help.

At the end of the day what matters most is that after all we’ve been through, we’re madly in love—more than we’ve ever been. We recognize that neither of us is perfect, but we love hanging out with each other and working together and that trumps everything. We both have our strengths and weaknesses so rather than go into judgement and control, the move is to use our strengths to support each other in growing even stronger. That in my opinion, is what being a power couple is all about.

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