Today we are going to talk about Shared Agreements.
Often, we dive into relationships at home or in life without pausing to clarify
- Or even the goal of our working together , what it is that we are doing or doing it
At StepUp we call these “shared agreements”, it’s is a conscious and deliberate conversation that helps clarify some of these things. It’s not a new concept for some of us and oftentimes, we forget that we know this stuff. At StepUp this skill is in just about everything we do. It’s in Resilient Manager, it’s in Influential Leader and the Executive Pause. We both practice it with our participants at all levels and we teach it as a skill for participants to bring it back into their organizations. I use this skill all over my life. I use it with my partners, Debbie and Jeff, with my husband George and even my doctor and dentist.
The objective is simple, you want to explore questions that will clarify the working relationship and each person takes responsibility for their contribution to the relationship and to the goal that you guys are collectively focused on. We joke around and say that actually pretty most disagreements can all be traced back to what your shared agreement effective or not.
So often we dive into this relationship and we don’t take the time to clarify some of these things. So, the example I give, I’m working with Jody and suddenly Jody, we’re working on a project together and then Jody is updating my boss on our project. I then get in a huff because Jody should know they’re not supposed to talk to my boss. I’m supposed to do that and Jody should just know that I’m supposed to do that. But, have I clarified that? Have we talked about it? No! So poor Jody doesn’t even know what is wrong or even that anything is wrong but I am over in the corner, you know, pretty pissed off at Jody.
So, questions to explore might be things like:
- How are we going to update our bosses?
- Who is going to be responsible for what?
- What does success look like?
- What doe each of us need?
- What are some potential obstacles that we might face?
The trick to shared agreements is that this isn’t just a one-time conversation. It is something that you guys will need to go back and revisit. How are we doing on the shared agreement? Do we need to modify? Do we need to talk about something else? It is like a living breathing conversation. Here is another tip you never ever have to call it a shared agreement, you don’t have to say Jody I would like to sit down now and have a conversation with out about our shared agreements. You don’t have to go there. You can just say “hey let’s talk about how we are going to work together. What do you need? What do I need? Let’s make sure we are aligned around the goal that we are trying to success at. So I encourage you to try it. Try it this week. Don’t sort of think, “Oh that is sort of a good idea.” Literally try it. Think about: who do I need to sit down with and have a shared agreements conversation with. You can use the five questions. Those five questions will be on the website www.stepupleadership.com. Be creative and see where that conversation takes you. If you are anything like me, once you start using this skill you start to see that you can use it all over the place and it really does help you to collaborate more effectively with people in your life.
Thanks for joining us for this weeks “Five-minute Epiphanies to Mine the Mess for Success: Tips, Snippets and Stories” to help you mine the mess for success. For more information check us out at www.stepupleadership.com and join us next week where we will be talking about “what does it mean to being a resilient manager and why should I care?