When I say this, I usually get one of two basic reactions:
1. “I always keep my agreements”; or
2. “Crap. I’m not that great at keeping my agreements.” And then a long litany of guilt-inducing thoughts and conversations about how bad it is I don’t keep my agreements and, based on what Cami is saying, that’s a big problem.
So let me respond to these two reactions.
1. No you don’t. Nobody keeps all their agreements. If you think you do, I’m going to challenge you to take a closer look.
2. Most people do not keep many of their agreements. Most (many? a lot of?) people are late. Very few of them are happy with this fact. Most of them want to change it. The self-beatup though will NOT assist in changing the behavior. I’d like you to underline, write down, and put this on your bathroom mirror. Self-attack will never lead to positive change. It’s good news and not so good news for most people.
So what leads to change? I am going to write a series of blogs over the next many weeks designed to give you insight on this topic, to help you see a few things:
1. If you think you keep all your agreements, let’s look. Let’s see where you do and where you don’t. Sometimes there are agreements made that, for whatever reason, you are not seeing as true agreements. And yet, the other person is. So if you break them, you are affecting the level of trust between you.
2. You are not going to keep your agreements 100% of the time. Of greater value is self-awareness, integrity and trust, which lead to higher levels of agreement-keeping, and perhaps more importantly, lead to communication that builds trust in all your relationships (business and work) and will set you apart even more.
3. We will break down the following: what is an agreement? how do you make them now? how could you make them in a way that would be more effective? how do you communicate them? how could you communicate them more effectively? And more.
For now, start where you are. Or maybe, find out where you are. Try this. From now until our blog next week, keep track of all agreements. Make a simple sheet and label columns – Agreement Made, To Whom, Kept, Not Kept. Just observe. Be neutral. Be nice to yourself. Be very very curious.