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How to build on the idea that 1+1=3?

How to build on the potential of the ‘couple partnership’?

At BFF we like the idea that a couple partnership (two people, two siblings, two generations etc.) can generate an unexpectedly large amount of value. To put it another way, it’s possible that 1+1 = 3.

To maximise the power of a couple partnership it’s important to try to see what’s right about the other person’s ideas, not what’s wrong. To try to build together, not criticise and tear down. To try to look for positives so that each person feels smarter when the other is around, not dumber.

When a couple partnership is working well, it’s almost like the other person is able to explain your thoughts more fully than you could yourself. And vice versa. So you can make much faster progress in developing thinking and action.

Some useful phrases are:

“That’s interesting because…”

“I like it that you’re thinking about….”

“You’re making a good point that makes me wonder whether….”

“What if we were to follow your line of thought but make it even more spectacular by doing….”

 Some phrases to avoid are:

“That’s not interesting.”

“You’re completely wrong because…”

“Nobody is interested in those sorts of things…”


As we explore the idea of 1+1=3, let’s take a look a some interesting points to consider when working with your significant other!


While the power of two can create the future ground for Emotional Ownership, this attribute associated with entrepreneurial families needs to be properly managed. Take 4 mintues to read about why it’s important!


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