Have you ever walked out of a meeting thinking that you knew exactly what you were to do and what others would be doing, only to find out later that things didn’t go as well as planned? Clear agreements are critical to good relationships and progress in the workplace. Unclear agreements are at the root of most poor working relationships.
Meet Lisa, who recently
landed a position as vice president of finance in a high tech company.
An MBA degree, along with her intelligence, and her business savvy
was not prepared to work with her CEO. He was laid back, easy going, and
willing to delay decisions until the last minute—characteristics
For several months,
Lisa managed to interact as needed, but her attitude took a downward turn.
Meetings bored her because she knew that decisions would not be
While talking to a friend in another company, Lisa heard about coaching. Something clicked, and Lisa called her friend’s coach immediately.
Within the first few minutes, Lisa’s coach identified that there were no clear agreements for the leadership team—for operating, meeting management, key responsibility areas, shared resources, or much of anything.
Lisa and her coach agreed on several actions that Lisa could immediately implement to make a difference. For example, at the end of her next conversation with her CEO, she recapped what had been discussed and identified her next steps.
As Lisa continued working on clear agreements, she experienced three changes. First, she began to get excited again about her work. Second, she noticed that there were fewer mix-ups and missed deadlines. Third, others began asking questions in meetings to get to clear agreements. The first time this occurred, Lisa realized that the changes she was making could really make a difference for others, too!
Here are some questions
to consider when you become aware that clear agreements are needed:
As you get ready to discuss clear agreements with others, you might want to think about how you’ll express what you want to say. Here are some examples of how others have started the conversation.
1. I’m still
unclear about exactly what you’d like to have accomplished by next
week. Could we please review it before the meeting is over?
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