Are there keys to a successful relationship? If so, what are they?
In this article, I discuss how Google integrates new employees into their business culture, and what we can learn from them about marriage.
Ever wonder why Google is such a success?
Sure. They have a great product. When we want to know about something, we don’t say, ‘Just Yahoo it!’ Nope. We google it.
But that’s only part of the story.
According to many, a big part of their success (it applies to all companies as well) is their ability to hire and keep great employees.
Since they are a data-driven company, they even have numbers that tell them HOW to get their employees up and running efficiently in record time.
Jeff Haden dug around and found five keys they use to make sure they hire the best and get them on the team quickly.
Five Things Google Does For New Employees We Should For Our Marriage
Here is what he found:
- Match the new hire with a peer buddy;
- Help the new hire build a social network;
- Set up employee onboarding check-ins;
- Encourage open dialogue;
- Meet your new hires on their first day.
You may be asking, ‘What does this have to do with marriage?’
A lot, actually.
The goal of Google is to get their team members acclimated and part of the team as fast as possible. They realize that employees are more creative, productive, and happier when they work together.
Same with marriage.
The goal is connection. Partnership. Sharing life. Teamwork.
This is how intimacy is created.
It is how communication is fashioned.
How trust is forged.
Applying Googles Team Building To Marriage
Let’s take a closer look at Google’s five principles and apply them to marriage.
Googles ability to hire the best, keep the best, and the best out of their employees is legendary. Here are five things we can learn from how they get new employees on the team quickly and successfully, making sure they are ready to contribute their best to the team.
1. Finding A Mentor
For Google, this means connecting a newly hired person with a peer who can show them the ropes.
Google realizes that the best way for a new person to get acclimated to the new culture is to buddy up with someone who is part of the culture.
For married couples, it is more nuanced. It indicates that one of the best ways to learn ‘how to do marriage’ is to model someone has a great marriage.
In my opinion, this is one of the missing pieces in most marriages. We try to wing it and make it on our own. It would be so much easier to learn from masters of the craft.
Let’s face it, marriage skills can be learned. Sometimes (most of the time) they are not natural. Yet, they can be acquired.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is by finding a marriage mentor.
We find business mentors, writing mentors (or whatever craft you desire to master), health coaches, even addiction sponsors. Why not marriage mentors?
It seems obvious when you think about it, but it is one of the most overlooked keys to a successful relationship.Marriage Mentors: It seems obvious when you think about it, but it is one of the most overlooked keys to a successful relationship. Click To Tweet
After all, you can learn a lot from someone who has successfully navigated the ins and outs of marriage for decades.
There are two ways to learn something. The easy way and the hard way. The easy way is better. It’s easy.
It is usually associated with learning from someone else’s mistakes so you don’t have to make them all yourself. This is what a mentor, coach, and sponsors do for us; they help us avoid the common mistakes people make.
The hard way is when you go it alone and make all the mistakes yourself. You aren’t leaning on someone else’s experience and expertise. You are trying to figure it out by yourself.
While you might succeed, you can shave years off the learning curve by listening to someone who has been there…someone who is wiser than you about marriage.
Where Do You Find A Marriage Mentor?
This is the tricky part. They are not easy to find. There aren’t a lot of ‘job boards’ that advertise marriage mentors. If you know of any, please let me know.
My wife and I have offered a few struggling couples our time (love, wisdom, and care) to help them work through issues. We are very selective and they usually are part of our local church.
I wish more churches saw the value in old (successful) couples investing in the lives of younger (less experienced) couples.
I guess the bottom line is, pay attention to your circle and see if there is someone in your life you want to model your marriage after. Approach them and simply ask if they would invest in your life.
Here is the key to make this work: Pay attention to what they say. If they are successful, don’t write off what they say. If they invest their time in you, honor their time by listening and implementing what they teach you.
2. Build a Network of Support
Every couple should have a network of support.
For most people, this is their church or synagogue.
Regardless of where they come from, we need people in our life who can help us work through our stuff.
Google realized that when their employees felt connected to other employees, they performed better. So their priority is to get them connected as soon as possible.
If you think about it, this is a novel approach.
Most corporate settings want their employees to limit time with others so they can focus on the job. Not Google. Their data suggests the more they interconnect, the more creative and productive they are.
Doing life alone is lonely. It isolates us from the very people who can help us.
It’s like trying to water ski when you have to be the driver of the boat AND the skier. You can do one or the other, but not both.
Herein lies the power of your network of friends.
What To Avoid As A Network Of Support
It doesn’t take long to discover you can always find someone to agree with you. This doesn’t make you right. It just means people are experiencing the same stuff you are going through.
Reread point #1 as a refresher on what to look for in a mentor.
While our network of support is not the same as mentoring, it runs a close second. We need people who offer a safe place for us to hash out our junk.
Just remember, safe doesn’t mean they always agree with us. It’s dangerous to only listen to those who share your view. If you are looking for someone to validate your failures, social media will do.
If, however, you are looking for someone who will love you regardless of what you are going through, and speak truth and life into your life, it is not the venue you should choose.
Too many people equate thousands of social media followers with acceptance. They are dead wrong.
You can’t know real acceptance until you do life with someone.Too many people equate thousands of social media followers with acceptance. They are dead wrong. You can't know real acceptance until you do life with someone. Click To Tweet
Your support network should be people you trust and share life with.
3. Create Checkpoints to Stay Accountable
We live in a lake community. Summer weekends invite people to spend time on the water. People party. Boat. Ski. And fish. There are tons to do on the lake.
It also means there are Police and State Troopers on the road. On busy weekends (holidays) they set up sobriety checkpoints.
These checkpoints are places where drivers have to stop and verify they are not impaired to drive.
They serve as a reminder not to drink and drive.
Google discovered that when they set up employee onboarding check-ins once a month (usually for the first six months), the employee stayed on target and got the job done.
These checkpoints were reminders for the employee about expectations, job description, and any other key ingredient of the role in the company.
I’m a believer that marriage should have checkpoints. Not like a sobriety checkpoint designed to catch us doing something wrong, but ones that remind us of our goal as a couple.
How Marriage Checkpoints Should Work
Remember, these checkpoints are not punitive. They are not designed to trap us or necessarily find out what is wrong with the relationship. They are designed to keep us on track.
So checkpoints should be created that serve as points of entry into the positive things of marriage.
If you’ve ever traveled to another country you are familiar with the checkpoints set up as you leave one place to enter another. These points validate your passport, etc.
Marriage checkpoints should serve a similar purpose. They help us leave one point and enter another.
Money problems are common in newly married couples. How to view combined expenses, how to manage the family budget, who does what when it comes to paying bills. These are all common concerns that trip up many couples.
It can be helpful for couples to set up monthly checkpoints to discuss finances.
For example, I pay the bills in our household. Since there are a lot of moving parts because we own our own businesses, I handle the legal issues (which often includes the money part).
We recently sat down together to look at our finances after the first quarter of the year. We set some goals, looked at what we had coming in for the rest of the year, and began putting together a plan to make sure we met our goals.
Not every household is this complicated financially. Running several businesses makes it more challenging. Most couples don’t need elaborate check-ins as we do. But it is important to develop some type of checkpoint so you monitor your expenses and make sure you are both on the same page.
Checking in with each other on a regular basis is a healthy way to stay on top of things.
This is the value of a checkpoint.
There are other marriage checkpoints to consider as well. Each couple is unique, so the checkpoint will look different.
Here are a few checkpoints to consider establishing:
Financial Goals. Are you on the same page about money? Are you accountable for your spending? Do you have money goals?
Social Media Accountability. Are you transparent about your time on Facebook and TikTok? Do you share passwords?
Communication. Are you discussing important issues when they come up? Are you talking about your day with each other? Are you including your spouse in your world?
Time Together. Are you spending time together daily? Do you have a date night? How do you end your day?
Intimacy. Do you hold hands? How frequently are you intimate physically? Do you discuss your sex life with each other?
These checkpoints can help you connect and stay in tune with your relationship.
4. Build Trust through Transparency
Trust is an essential (if not THE essential) ingredient in a successful marriage. You can read about five ways to build trust here.
Without trust, you can’t have a relationship. You can have an acquaintance, but not a relationship. Relationships imply interaction based on common trust and acceptance.
Google realized for employees to buy into their company and products they needed to feel heard, valued, and appreciated for their contributions.
To do this, they created an atmosphere where employees could voice their opinions and offer suggestions.
The same principles apply to marriage. When we feel heard and validated, we contribute more to the relationship.
On the flip side, when we do not feel our opinion matters, we are not consulted and considered, or we are dismissed emotionally and physically, we withdraw. It is a natural, human instinct to pull away when we do not feel appreciated.
Trust is forged when we appreciate our spouses, value their input, and make them our priority.
5. Make Connections Quickly
Marriage is about connecting. Healthy marriages have a strong physical connection, but it doesn’t stop there. Feeling emotionally in tune with your spouse is one of the leading factors in marriage satisfaction.
For Google, making connections with employees meant managers and corporate leaders introduced themselves to people newly hired.
They found morale was high when employees felt like they were known by superiors.
This looks different in marriage, but the principle is the same. Morale (marriage happiness) is higher when we learn how to connect quickly.
What Does This Look Like In Marriage?
First, it is not about speed. It’s not about how fast you move in your marriage. It’s about how quickly you respond when your spouse needs you.
Second, while connecting takes many forms, at the heart of it is feeling a part. Feeling known.
Connecting is not just about attraction. It goes much deeper.
We connect when we feel our partner accepts us and understands us. This is the essence of trust.
Trust is one of the top 10 keys to healthy relationships according to North Carolina University.
Not long ago I went through a situation where I felt misunderstood by three men I respect. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, I did something that was interpreted wrong by these men.
When we discussed the issue I felt embarrassed. My intentions had been misunderstood and I felt judged. It hurt.
The day after this event we were scheduled to be in another state. On our drive, I shared my feelings with Michelle. She listened. Offered support. And she affirmed me as a kind, generous man.
Needless to say, we connected because she shared my heart over the issue.
Many couples fail at this point. When one partner opens up about something, the other feels the need to correct (at worse), or fails to affirm (not as bad but still way short of connecting).
We connect when we see opportunities to affirm our spouse and seize them.
Those opportunities are everywhere. Life can be cruel at times. That’s where marriage should shine the brightest. We connect when life deals us disappointments and we respond with love, appreciation, and acceptance.We connect when we see opportunities to affirm our spouse and seize them. Click To Tweet
Google understands this principle. By allowing their employees to ‘know’ key leaders, they design an atmosphere of acceptance and value.
It certainly will look different in marriage, yet the idea is valid. The more we let our spouse know us – and the more we are known – the deeper our connection.
My wife determined to KNOW ME during this challenging situation. She didn’t just want to know the facts about what happened – who said what.
She determined to know ME. To see me in the situation. She wanted to know how I felt, what I thought, what I experienced. In doing that, she eased the pain of what I encountered and offered herself as a safe landing place for me. This is a classic example of what it means to serve your spouse.
Because of that, we connected.
Side note: The situation with my three friends ended well. We were able to talk further (that’s what friends do) and we all affirmed our confidence and trust in one another. We all agreed it had been a big misunderstanding and we resolved the issue quickly. That’s the way things should be.
Making quick connections is not about speed. It’s about determining to not let opportunities pass that allow us to connect with one another.Making quick connections is not about speed. It's about determining to not let opportunities pass that allow us to connect with one another. Click To Tweet
Final Thoughts on Keys to a Successful Relationship
Having a healthy marriage is difficult, and challenges can be expected in any marriage. A successful marriage takes work, and a successful marriage is worth the work. Having a healthy relationship is key to a successful marriage.
With the right tools and applying the right keys, a couple can have a truly successful marriage with lasting love and happiness. While there are many keys we need to make marriage work. I’ve intentionally limited this article to the five I learned from Google.
Google is one of the most successful companies in the world. Their approach to hiring and getting employees to produce excellent work is one of the keys to their success.
In this article, we looked at five of those keys and applied them to marriage.
Recap of what we covered:
- Applying Googles Team Building To Marriage
We have resources available to help you create the marriage you desire and deserve.
The Healthy Marriage Quiz
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The Healthy Marriage Toolkit
Books, Courses, Programs, and Tools designed to help you create the marriage of your dreams.
Five Simple Steps Marriage Course
Marriage doesn’t have to be complicated. In this 5 part mini-series, you’ll discover practical steps to redesign your marriage.
Healthy Marriage Academy
Our courses will help you build a strong marriage. Each course is designed to meet a specific relationship need.
If you are having serious marriage struggles, we recommend starting with ‘Save the Marriage System‘ by Lee Baucom.