Couples Coaching – Maintaining your key personal relationship
At the end of the day yesterday I was expecting my last coaching client at 5pm. He arrived as expected, but not alone – he had his wife with him. I had not been expecting her, as she had been to only one coaching session with him before. (Typically clients let me know in advance if they want a couples coaching session.) It seems to be a bit of a theme at the moment though; executive’s corporate business impacting their key personal relationship.
In thinking back to three weeks ago when a client called from Vancouver Island for a coaching session. He had his wife with him on speaker phone and said, “Cameron…meet my wife.” Recently, there have been others scenarios where business clients seem to be bumping up against the many challenges that come with balancing business with marriage and family. It is a season of couples coaching.
Business and Personal ~ are they competing relationships?
Too often, executives and entrepreneurs run flat out focusing on business. As a consequence, their most important relationship(s) suffer. Some of these folks are better than others at compartmentalizing their personal and business lives and minimizing the impact that each domain has on the other. However, it really is false to think that one can do this effectively for any length of time. In terms of declining wellness and performance, research tells us that the cumulative impact of personal and workplace stressors is what is most impactful over time.
All clients on my coaching roster have the option to bring in their partner for couples coaching. I am seeing more than before that my executive coaching clients are calling in for just that. A strong and healthy relationship with your personal life partner is the backdrop for success in executive leadership and business.
Now back to the speakerphone call mentioned above. The CEO on the end of the line that introduced me to his wife jumped right into letting me know how one of his current workplace stressors of attempting to land a $60 million contract was impacting his marriage. He recognized that he was not showing up at home at his best. This was negatively impacting his relationship with his wife and teenage daughters.
How does this corporate stress impact your marital relationship?
What I find is that couples get into a type of “cycle” with each other. This cycle relates to the way they pursue and withdraw from each other. This cycle is impacted by a range of “raw spots” that each couple has. These spots can get triggered and attempts to reach and respond to each other seem to fail. The secure connection and bond between partners is threatened. Consequently an attachment panic sets in as emotion travels fast. This sets off internal alarms that say something like, “I’m not sure my partner is there for me…”
Through couples coaching, we assist couples in strengthening their bond. They learn to interact in new and less reactive ways about the issues impacting them at a deeper level. We also help couples recognize that they are not the enemy of each other during difficult times. Rather, the enemy they are jointly facing is the dance that they get caught up in together. This cycle leads to emotional distance rather than emotional presence.
At the end of the day, we know that having a strong and secure emotional bond with one’s partner actually makes us stronger, not weaker like many in our individualistic society suggest. It is from this stronger place of knowing we are well connected to and aligned with our partner that we can be more successful in meeting our business goals and maximizing our effectiveness.
Cameron’s Call to Action
- Assess your marriage and immediate family relationships. How is your business or executive world is impacting who you are at home.
- If you’re consistently not showing up at your best at home, ask yourself, “what is happening for me that is impacting my emotional presence with those closest to me?”
- If you and your partner are not effectively maintaining your emotional connection, consider linking up with a couples coach. Source out an executive coach who understands the world of executive leadership. A coach such as this will be able to support you to be successful in family and in business.