Re: "I wish to ask your thoughts on the best way to create an agreement . . ." My thoughts are not what works. And, I'm unaware of a "best way." I seem to do it differently, using different words each time. That's because agreements are about intention. Ofter people discover that they had no intention to have another honor their word. An imitation of an agreement is one that is not kept; it looked like an agreement, sounded like an agreement, but the result reveals that it was merely an imitation of an agreement
As you've read in our various "about the tutorial
," the test of a well crafted co-created agreement is the results.
If one were to watch a new teacher the first time he/she is trying to communicate a Homework Assignment Agreement you'd probably see and hear, a louder voice, intense eye-to-eye (I really mean it) contact with each student and a condescending demeanor (as though the children didn't understand English), and lots of repetition and perhaps some testing, "Tom, what's the homework?" Actually there's nothing wrong with this, it's just that it's unnecessary and it's time consuming, and it reveals that the teacher did not communicate what's so about agreements with the student and his/her parent(s) at the beginning of the year.
The key word above is "co-created." One can't dump an agreement on another and expect certainty. For example: With a neighbor whom I haven't loaned anything to them before, I usually ask in some way, when they say, "I'll bring it back to you this afternoon." I ask, "How are you about agreements?" or "Good, can I count on you to have it back by 5:00?" What gets communicated non-verbally is that if you don't return it on time you just won't be considered trustworthy, and you won't be able to borrow from me again. I find that people are actually proud and pleased when they honor an agreement with me, that they got the tool back by 5:00 (like a second-grader returning from an important errand). As with a child, what's important
is to acknowledge their kept agreement. i.e. "Thank you for getting it back to me before 5:00." It completes the interaction. For them it's like money in the bank, they know they can borrow from me again.
The most important factor for me is my integrity. People say that I look strict, a no nonsense kind of guy, that I look strong, like I mean what I say. I know that I carry a military-like confidence that communicates respect, there's also a fear of betraying/disappointing me. It's an aura thing that comes from my own knowingness—that I can be trusted to honor agreements, therefore I expect you too also. This aura thing communicates power. The power comes from being whole and complete, completing as much as possible so that incompletes don't sap my mind, my creativity, the space in which I manifest intentions. Power is the rate at which one cycles through creating (starting), having (doing), and completing (having/acknowledging).
When co-creating an agreement there's a minimum of superfluous words—distractions that can be used to confuse the particulars. You must have some sense that they are clear that you expect them to recreate your intention. They have an experience of differentness, unlike other times they've borrowed something from someone; what also gets communicated is responsibility as pertains to borrowing
, they know they will have to pay for it if they break it.
With a child there must be a built in expected consequence, one they
decide upon up front.
When an employee breaks an agreement it's never ever about that agreement; it's about an earlier similar agreement with you or another for which they have not been acknowledged (caught). Read about recidivism in the Community Support Group Project for Parolees
and the Potential Rumor "Hawaii to hire successful parolees to serve on Parole Boards
You can't expect someone to honor an agreement with you if there is disrespect in the space, or if you or they are dragging around other unacknowledged withhold/broken agreements. This is why The [free] Clearing Process
is of value.
Lastly, one can't expect to have others consistently honor agreements with them if they are abusing or being abused. One can't tell if a broken agreement is about the consequence of a created abuse or if it's simply a communication problem.
In the teacher's tutorial we discuss with a parent—what should you do when your son doesn't honor his homework agreement? or, "How shall I handle you if/when you get upset or angry when I insist that you complete your homework? These variables are covered during the co-creating agreement process with a student and his/her parent(s) at the beginning of the semester. Tip
: When you lend to someone whom you don't know if they can be trusted to honor an agreement, someone whose integrity is such that their credit is bad, you must have in the back of your mind, up-front, that it's a gift.
Great question! With aloha, GabbyPS: Here's some cookies for your mind
Check back from time to time for minor edits. Last edited 5/17/17