In the work environment, where so much of our time and energy is spent, conflicts and differences in perspective inevitably arise. When necessary, Agreement Meetings effectively resolve challenges and promote more productive and satisfying work relationships.
The agreement coach meets with each party separately to provide support and gain insight into a situation. Then a meeting with the people involved is facilitated. As an outcome of this meeting, agreements as to what each person will do are written and commitments are made. Periodic follow-ups are conducted to assess whether terms of agreement are being met and to determine the need for additional processes and agreements. People involved receive coaching support to fulfill promises.
This type of intervention differs from mediation in that each person receives invaluable ongoing support and follow-up to ensure a satisfying resolution and productive outcomes. The coach learns about the greater context and supports the organization when clarification and change is needed.
Agreement meetings can be extremely productive between any individuals or teams experiencing communication challenges, including an organization president and direct reports, leaders and staff, team members, and business unit heads. Relationships dramatically improve when common ground is explored, expectations are clearly determined, as sense of accountability is established and support from a coach is provided.
Potentials has achieved great success at “unsticking” individuals and groups through commitment and agreement processes.
Agreement Coaching Examples:
Potentials worked with each leader to understand their perspectives and concerns. In addition, we talked with their colleagues and staff. We learned that this conflict was mirrored at all levels of the organization. We brought the two together and supported them to understand each other’s perspective and to find common ground and to forge agreements. We then supported dialogue between their bosses as well as between their respective staff.
In a short while, a big challenge became an opportunity. A solution for the difficult IT problem was also resolved after the two leaders were able to talk more openly. Relationships were enhanced throughout all the levels and the organization was more able to achieve their strategic vision.
Financial Services Organization
All reported satisfaction with the process and the team continued to work together for years and became a model for other parts of the organization. Results soared in this department.
The head of the organization, HR and the leaders themselves were grateful to have outsides assistance to help break the tension and to hold everyone accountable to following through on agreements. All reported that they were working more effectively and the environment was more productive and positive.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” —Ghandi