Friday, May 20, 2011

Is marriage relationship an indicator of career success?

In a recent survey of about 3000 couples it was discovered that an average couple ( bickers 7 times a day. Of course, this is a survey of western couples. In India, i guess this number could be less in older generation couples, but in the young generation this could be a representative number. How is marriage relationship related to career-intelligence?

Researchers have found that biggest single reason for a tiff in a marriage is not listening to what the other half is saying. In other words, people tend to 'advocate' more than 'listen and inquire'. Surprisingly, this is also the most common bottleneck faced by a professional who is wanting to enter the ' top most core group' of an organisation.

As a professional grows in an organisation, he or she has to learn to 'advocate' less and 'listen' more to bring together the diverse viewpoints on a subject, problem or a decision. Without bringing these diverse points, the decisions are suboptimal and root causes of a problem remain unresolved. Where is a playground to learn this skill?

In an organisation, this skill is difficult to learn, because there is no playground to learn this skill. As one grows and acquires seniority in an organisation, because of power, juniors tend to listen to seniors. Even when juniors are 'told' to 'speak' their mind, juniors often make mistakes in stating 'irrelevant' points or highlighting 'narrow issues'. Senior executives soon lose their patience and revert to become 'advocates' of their viewpoints. A senior executive therefore does not get to practice the skill of listening and inquiring.

For an executive, marriage relationship is surprisingly one of the best playground to develop this skill of listening and inquiring. One other playground is in his/her relationship with same-age friends, where his viewpoints are questioned and deliberated.

Without learning this skill of 'listening and inquiring', one cannot cross the invisible glass barrier of entering the 'core group of team' in an organisation. Apart from other benefits of marriage relationship, this is how marriage directly helps an individual in building one's career.

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