Agreements for Action turn basic questions into the following explicit statements:
- What is to be done.
- Who will do it.
- By when will #1 be done.
Agreements for Action never have the following sort of phrases in them:
I think it would be a good idea if you…Why don’t we…Maybe you should…My suggestion for you would be to…I’ll try to…I’ll see about it…What if we…Lets…I’ll bet we could…You might try to…I think I can…etc.
The above phrases are musings, general ideas and suggestions. They characterize a discussion, not an agreement for action.They are too vague and formless, having no bottom, sides or top.
Agreements for Action can be renegotiated to allow for the fact that while we bargain for climate, what we get is weather. But, changes to Who, What and When must be agreed upon mutually.
The intention of Agreements for Action is to insure that we ask for what we want rather than hold back. Most of us really don’t expect others to do what they say they will do and don’t like confronting them when they don’t. We don’t want to deal with the possibility that the other person will not like us for being direct and straight forward. But agreements for action have no place for withholding. You will not end up a victim to the other person’s excuses and non-performance. The intention is to place you at 100% responsibility for your results. This formula is meant to be applied across the spectrum of your relationships. Do not allow people you think you depend upon, such as coworkers, bosses, suppliers, vendors, subcontractors, customers (internal and external), government employees, members of institutions, family, friends etc., to be less than 100 % responsible for their words and their actions -which includes what they don’t say (withhold) and don’t do.
Consequences for broken agreements include:
-Anger, confrontation and upset
-Erosion of trust and respect
-Job performance review