There is increasing awareness that business partners often turn to couples counseling for help. In “Why Partnership is Harder than Marriage” (Forbes), it is noted that while 50% of marriages end in divorce, the number is closer to 80% for business partnerships. A couple of the contributing factors cited include: too much time together and not enough community support. So what to do? More and more business partners are turning to couples therapy and reaping the benefits.
This process is being found advantageous by tech start-ups, which are often begun by partners who were friends in college and then went into business together. Larger companies like Cisco and Google have hired couples counselors to facilitate communication between managers, and Stanford Business School offers a group therapy course which includes reading The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work (NPR’s “Couples Counseling Catches on with Tech Co-Founders”).
There are a variety of motivators for business partners to seek out couples counseling or partner coaching, as it is also called. These can include how to maintain friendships in a stressful environment, how to avoid feuds and legal battles, and how to develop effective models of leadership (NYT, “Anger Managment: Why Genious Co-Founders Turned to Couples Therapy”). With the wealth of knowledge cultivated within the field of couples counseling, there are numerous and relevant applications towards business partnerships. It is exciting to see that more and more people are benefiting from this crossover and in so doing, are able to create and maintain healthy, stable business partnerships!