How to Communicate Better at Work with Cory and JoJo Rankin

Published by Jenn Neal on

how to communicate better at work

Successful businesses are built on successful relationships. Learn how to communicate better at work using relationship communication skills.

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TIP: How to communicate better at work

Time needed: 7 minutes.

TIP: Improving Relationship Communication with 4 Steps | Unleash the LOVE Zipper
from Cory and JoJo Rankin

If you have a problem or complaint use this framework to work back and forth until you create a unified plan together, just like how two sides of a zipper come together for a stronger bond.

  1. L – Listen

    Listen to your partner’s concern and listen to your own concerns

  2. O – Observe

    Pay attention to your partner’s emotions, body language and feelings around your concern, as well as your own reactions

  3. V – Voice

    Have a safe space to voice your concern and true emotions with a possible solution and let your partner do the same

  4. E – Execute

    Determine a solution together and take action

Improving Relationship Communication with 4 Steps | Unleash the LOVE Zipper
from Cory and JoJo Rankin
Improving Relationship Communication with 4 Steps | Unleash the LOVE Zipper
from Cory and JoJo Rankin

What’s In This Episode

Effective relationship communication means each party gets their needs met. The success of any business hinges on the importance of business relationships. Join us to learn how marriage relationship advice applies to your business. Solve relationship communication problems with partners and employees. Learn specific ways to apply relationship communication skills and retain more clients by making sure they feel heard and valued.

Jenn Neal

Jenn Neal on how to communicate better at work.

I still have a hard time breaking into groups and making friends.

-Jenn Neal

One time at Girl Scout Camp…

No – this isn’t the band camp type of story so just stop going there… 😉

I always wanted to ride horses. Growing up I had a friend that let me ride just enough so I fell in love and got hooked.

So when the opportunity to attend summer camp where you got to ride every day came up, I was IN!

I showed up at camp all ready to go see the horses, but instead I was surrounded by… people! Lots and lots of people!

For little introvert me (yes, I have blossomed since then…) it was daunting. The idea of approaching someone I didn’t know and talking was so scary I instead retreated.

After a while one of the camp counselors found me hiding in the sleeping cabin, back turned away from the other introvert girls that were in the same cabin.

She urged me to try talking with one of the girls. That I might be surprised and might even make a new friend.

After my eyes rolled completely back in my head and I found them again…. and also after I was sure that the camp counselor was out of range (I couldn’t have her seeing that I did what she told me) I turned to face the other girls in the cabin.

I guess the counselor had worked her tricky ways, because in looking around I could see the other girls were also no longer sitting with backs to each other.

Then it felt like one of those movie scenes – where the music swells up all with tension. We were all eyeing each other from across the room warily waiting for someone else to make the move.

groups and making friends. - Jenn Neal on how to communicate better at work
I still have a hard time breaking into groups and making friends. – Jenn Neal

And then it happened.


From one of the girls.

And then I’m pretty sure a time warp happened because the next thing I knew we were all huddled up on one bed talking and laughing like we were old friends.

The point I really want to make here is sort of two fold.

One. I still have a hard time breaking into groups and making friends. Even now, even when it’s a group I’m paying to be part of.

Two. I don’t know why I still have this issue – because literally every time I make the effort I’m thrilled to meet the most amazing people!

As is the case with the guest experts for this episode.

I had been on calls with Cory and JoJo Rankin and thought what they were doing was interesting. And then, I had them on as guest experts.

They help couples be couples. Especially when one or both are entrepreneurs.

It’s like the universe was pushing me to make this connection – and let me tell you their message is powerful. Just like they are.

Seriously, one of the most amazingly genuine and connected couples I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with.

So – check out this episode because you won’t want to miss out on the tips and stories they share.


Jenn “recovering Scout camp introvert” Neal

Cory and JoJo Rankin on how to communicate better at work.

Meet Cory and JoJo Rankin

Corey and JoJo Rankin are a husband and wife team using their experience as entrepreneurs and parents (They have fostered around 30 children over the years and have five at home now) to help married entrepreneurs build stronger marriages. They host a podcast entitled “Strong Business, Stronger Marriage” and you can connect with them in their Facebook group of the same name.

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How To Communicate Better At Work And Create Lasting Value for Your Business
How To Communicate Better At Work And Create Lasting Value for Your Business

How to Communicate Better At Work with Cory and JoJo Rankin

Relationship Communication

Welcome back! In this episode we had the pleasure of talking with not one guest expert, but two.  They are husband and wife team Corey and Jojo Rankin. All of you married entrepreneurs out there are going to want to hear what these two have say.

Corey and Jojo, or CoJo, as their known to friends, have set out to help entrepreneurs strengthen their marriages. They work with couples that are operating a business together, couples where one individual is involved with operating a business and the other is not, and they also work with individual entrepreneurs who want to strengthen their marriage, but their spouse is not ready yet.

Corey and JoJo realized that the business was a significant source of stress for entrepreneurial couples. They teach couples how to reduce friction by being intentional with their time. What does that mean? It means that you control your time so that you can devote all of your energy to what you are doing while you are doing it. When it is family time you are fully present and enjoying your family. When it is business time, you are focused and giving your all to your business.  

When it's home time, it's home time, When it's business time, it's business time. - Cory and JoJo Rankin on how to communicate better at work.
Work / life balance is HARD. If you put too much into your business, you’re sacrificing your family and home life. If you put too much into your personal life, your business will suffer. For healthy work / life balance, you need firm boundaries. How do you budget your time for business and personal life? Is one getting shortchanged?

Importance Of Communication In Business Organization

Corey points out, that being intentional applies to creating content for your business as well. Being intentional with your content means knowing what it is that you want to say and paying attention to what your audience wants to know so that you are creating that is meaningful and has impact. Content is a tool we use to get people’s attention and to communicate our message to others. All content is communication, whether it’s spoken or written or in video form.

The same thing applies in our home as in our business. We have to be good communicators.

We need to get people’s attention and communicate our feelings, needs, desires and concerns in our homes as well. When we’re not communicating well, people don’t receive our message properly. 

Many times our expectations go unmet at home and in business because we don’t communicate our needs to other people. We expect people to do things, but we don’t tell them what we need them to do. When you think about content, its purpose is to promote your business. But, Jojo wants us to aim higher than mere business promotion and be intentional so we can create content that is meaningful to us and to others. 

How To Communicate Better At Work (And At Home)

The path differs slightly depending on where the couple is in their journey. Gee, that sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it? Just like our customer’s needs differ depending on their current point in the journey, a couple’s needs differ as well.

CoJo works with couples who are on the verge of divorce and need immediate intervention to revitalize their marriage. They also work with couples who are still very much in love and satisfied in their marriage, but the business is causing some friction. In both scenarios, boundaries need to be set and respected and emotions need to be communicated to nurture an intimate connection. 

The entry point differs according to where you are in your relationship. As an entrepreneur, you know your customer’s entry point is whatever pain point they are experiencing that you can help them solve.

 CoJo really focuses their efforts on teaching couples how to improve their communication and their connection to each other. One of the ways that they do that is by asking the couple to think back to a point in the relationship when they felt fulfilled then ask themselves what they were doing then that they are not doing now. If they can identify what that thing was and start doing it again they can often get back that same connection they had before. 

Quality content is about good communication.  - Cory and JoJo Rankin on how to communicate better at work
Your content communicates your brand to the world. Whether written, spoken, or visual, every piece of content is saying something about who you are and what you represent. How well does your content communicate who you are as a business?

Relationship Communication Skills

Corey shares one of their mindfulness tools that they playfully dubbed the “love zipper”.  Now, get your mind out of the gutter, it is not what you think. Think about the zipper on a winter coat as a metaphor for marriage.  

A zipper has two sides that can detach from each other, but neither side serves any purpose alone. A warm winter coat is useless if it is not zipped up because the wind and cold can get inside the coat. When you zip it up all the way the cold can’t get inside and you stay safe and warm. What often happens, is the zipper gets stuck and you can’t move it and that can be really frustrating. So we try to force the zipper to move until inevitably the zipper breaks apart and it’s hard to put it back together. 

Corey explains that the “love” in “love zipper” is an acronym that stands for Love, Observe, Voice, Execute. This acronym helps couples be intentional in presenting their complaints to their partner so they are not “forcing a stuck zipper”.

Relationship Communication Issues

Corey uses dirty dishes stacked up in the kitchen sink as an example of a typical source of friction to illustrate how the “Love Zipper” method works. Rather than getting angry he sticks to the facts. There are five kids, both spouses have business and school obligations and there are dirty dishes starting to pile up in the sink. Nobody is to blame, they simply need to work on a plan together to solve the problem.  

Never complain without offering a possible solution. Using the dishes example you could say, “I am overwhelmed by the dishes piling up. I know that we are both swamped but could we make a plan to get them washed. I can do it these days, can you do the others?” 

By using the “Love Zipper” framework you have identified the problem and proposed a solution. Your partner has had the opportunity to observe your emotions and voice their concerns and present an alternative solution. You weave the zipper back and forth until you have a plan that you can execute together. When we use this framework we are both taking ownership of the problem and the solution so no one feels forced and the zipper stays all zipped up and strong.

A good working relationship is like a zipper. - Cory and JoJo Rankin on how to communicate better at work
A zipper has two sides that have to work in tandem to get the job done. Sometimes zippers get stuck. Then being impatient, we tug on the zipper trying to fix it, but instead we break it. When the two sides work together, the zipper zips up as intended. A jacket with a working zipper keeps you warm, snug, and happy. Do you have any working relationships that are broken? Did not working together or impatience contribute to their breakdown?

A Little Expert Advice

As entrepreneurs, we feel like we need to say yes to a lot of things.  However, the more we say yes to the business or our clients, the more we start saying no at home. We want to build a strong business. We want to earn more money and that is important. However, if we only focus on climbing that mountain of success in our business, then when we do reach the top and head back down the mountain to get our family,  we may find that they aren’t there anymore. An entrepreneur has to be careful that they don’t establish their business at the expense of their family,  

Corey shared a story that drives home the impact our actions have on our families. He explains that his son suffers from speech difficulties caused by drug exposure in the womb. So when the boy interrupted him at work with a clearly spoken request that Corey play Legos with him Corey recognized the significant effort he had put into voicing his request. Instead of putting his son off , Corey pushed work obligations aside instead and spent some time playing Legos with his son. He returned and completed his work a short while later without giving the event a second thought. His son talked about those 15 or 20 minutes they spent playing Legos for weeks. Corey made the intentional decision to prioritize his son’s request over his business tasks.  At the end of the day, the business work got done and his son felt important and cared for.

CoJo stresses the impact that being intentional with your time can have on not just your family, but your own well-being as well. They advise their clients to set aside time, no matter how small, to interact with every family member individually. During that time you are giving that individual your whole undivided attention. Make a schedule if that helps and then make that time a priority. CoJo promises that making this one small adjustment in your daily routine will be a game changer. 

Importance Of Business Relationships

Everyone wants to feel valued and sharing your time is the best way to let someone know that they are important to you. None of us can make more time so the time we do have is very precious and we should be very intentional about how we spend it and who we are spending it with. Taking the time to respond to an email from a client or a comment on your business’s social media page lets your customers know that they matter to you.  

There was just too much good stuff, these guys are fantastic. Make sure you check out the video to get the whole interview and hear everything that Corey and JoJo had too say

You can also check out their podcast and Facebook group. Both are titled “Strong Business, Stronger Marriage”. They also have an interactive summit in the works where they will be teaching couples the core principles that will have the biggest impact for their families. So make sure you go check it out.

Cory and JoJo Rankin

How to Clarify Your Message to Grip Your Target Audience

Now that you know that prioritizing people over money is key to success, how can you create value in your workplace? How can you make your employees and partners feel heard and appreciated? How can you communicate to clients that you value them and their business?


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