Home > Leading Teams, Networking > Is your goal Agreement or Alignment in your teams and relationships?

Is your goal Agreement or Alignment in your teams and relationships?

Think about the following 3 scenarios:

  • The agreement was signed.  The product was delivered as specified.  BUT dissatisfied customers due to expectations not being met. 
  • Consensus was achieved.  A plan is formulated to reach the objective.  BUT the team is gets stuck during execution – not understanding, communicating well, afraid to “rock the boat”.
  • A very important deal on the table.  BUT there’s a stalemate in negotiations. There are islands of opinion. People are stuck in positions.

What’s the missing ingredient in all scenarios?  Alignment.  To look below the surface at what’s shared and common.  Instead of just reaching for YES in an agreement mentality.

What’s it like for teams and relationships when the goal is alignment?

  • People are connected by shared values, trust and belief
  • Diversity is accepted
  • All voices are heard!
  • Creativity flows
  • Discussion is open
  • Innovation lives

There IS agreement.  But…  It’s not the HOW, WHAT or RESULTS that is agreed upon.  It’s the COMMONALITIES (common purpose, values, mission, rules of engagement, etc.) that are designed and agreed upon!  Enabling flexible action and open communication.

How is alignment achieved? In my experience, designing an agreement that is accepted by everyone in the team or any working group or family is a key structure for alignment.  It brings the common values and mission into action.  How do you want to BE to maintain your mission?  It’s a neutral, agreed upon place to work from.  Based on commonality.  The objective view of a coach or facilitator is very helpful in the alignment process.  When do you design a team agreement?

  • Ideal to design a team agreement at the start of project or program
  • Think about designing an agreement, if you’re STUCK in loop of task inaction, missing deadlines or deadlock in negotiation
  • When Conflict starts to take a negative spiral, designing a team agreement can be very beneficial
  • Design an agreement Any Time! If you want to make teamwork more fun, flowing and efficient….  To get the most benefit from and for the group!

Bottom Line:  If you don’t have a team agreement in place, now’s the time to do it!!!  A coach or facilitator can be a valuable asset in the process!

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