Organizational culture seems to be a hot word going around these days. With tech start-ups upping the ante on enjoyable workplaces, work culture has become a significant factor in employment selection. But could this philosophy be applied to relationships? Isn’t it important to discuss what both of you want out of the culture of your relationship? Aren’t guidelines for expectations a critical aspect of healthy relationships?
I’m all about going that extra mile in making things work. Before I got married my husband and I did eight weeks of premarital counseling. Despite our healthy relationship, we thought it was essential to do everything we could to ensure our happiness. Sometimes there wasn’t much to talk about other than the tools from our workbook. Other times it was beneficial having an outsider’s evaluation and scientifically researched tools. It’s amazing how empowering a fresh perspective can be. Which is why I’m so excited about the idea of implementing an organizational culture in my relationship.
What is Organization Culture?
Essentially it’s the culture that makes up the relationship. The culture being values, behaviors, norms, and vision for the relationship. So the idea of organizational culture in relationships is to discuss these things with your partner. That way you have a unified system of beliefs and expectations about your relationship.
Talk to your partner about what you value most in the relationship. So if it’s important to you to have a lot of freedom, express that. Your partner can then tell you how much they value regular check-ins. Discuss what you each consider big decisions and how much you want to be involved in them. If you’re a believer in ethical non-monogamy or believe monogamy is vital to your relationship, those are values you need to talk about. Other important values are the level of commitment each of you is looking for. And what being cared for means to you. This is a relationship after all. You need to decide what you need for satisfaction and figure out how that aligns with your partner.
This covers everything from what behaviors are acceptable or not in your relationship to the kind of things you want to do. So if you want a relationship full of travel and adventure, then you need to make sure that’s something your partner wants too. Or if you’re uncomfortable with PDA, then you need to make sure your partner is aware. Without these conversations then neither of you will know what the other wants.
Furthermore, you’ll likely end up in a relationship with a culture that doesn’t fit you. Because of organizational culture, people are picking their jobs based on office culture, shouldn’t you be just as choosy with your partner? It’s not worth being with someone if your visions for your relationship don’t align.
If you don’t talk about both of your visions how will they ever align? That’s why it’s important to open up dialogue on what you want your relationship to look like. What are you hoping to experience with your partner? When you think about the perfect relationship what are you imagining? Chat with your partner about this vision and listen to them talk about theirs. It’s okay if they aren’t identical. But if they imagine both of you spending most of your time working and you’re more about personal development, then you might not be able to reconcile that difference. Organizational culture is about creating a unified vision that encompasses the norms that satisfy both of your needs.
The norms are the standards that you’ve decided on based off the conversations you’ve had on the above topics. Once you’ve really dug into each of yours’ perspective, you’ll be able to decide on the relationship norms. What’s great is that you can always go back to your agreed upon relationship culture whenever conflict arises. Which means through the use of organizational culture you’ll improve your relationship and resolve your issues.