Creating Powerful Agreements for Powerful Conversations

Niiamah’s Approach to Creating Powerful Agreements:

  • Set the stage for something different (even agreements aren’t “ground rules”)
  • Determine the agreements needed for LEADERSHIP to show up powerfully, then for the individual participants, then for the collective for all participants
    • As a leader, you’ll know how to handle many situations.

      The agreements help you set a commitment and standard for yourself to take powerful aligned action when YOU are put on your edge.

      This enables you to show up when safety gets questioned (and in a powerful transformational conversations, this is a goal not a mistake).
  • Present each agreement individually: includes asking for questions, honoring dissent, and giving each person a chance to personally agree
  • Honor the space and time to create agreements
    • How you treat agreements (including space for dissent) IS what creates the powerful space – you are MODELLING the safety and inviting confrontation from the onset. That’s the true power in it.
    • Guiding Principle: If you simply say or have to say “this is a safe space”, then it clearly isn’t.
  • Allow yourself room to be messy.

    You are asking people to be vulnerable, and it is rare that a space gets more vulnerable than it’s leader is willing to get.

    You can demonstrate your vulnerability as a leader by leaving space to be confronted or to get it wrong or in acknowledging you don’t have the answers.

Example: Melting Pot 2020 Agreements

  • Entering a different world – The way things go here
  • Questions over Answer Advice-Free Zone – Do not try and be helpful or give advice; Paternalistic
    • Invitation to explore what that means for you instead
  • Curiosity over Convincing
  • Courage over Confidence – Place to be truly seen
  • Depth over Scale 
  • Possibility over Problems
  • Peopletics over Politics: Who we are vs. how we are

Example: Niiamah’s Personal 3 Agreements when conversation turns “crucial”

  1. I’m going to hide nothing and hold nothing back – are you good with this?
  2. I’m here to serve you rather than please you – are you good with that?
  3. I have a track record of having life changing conversations, and at this point in my life, I refuse to have anything less than that. Are you open to the possibility of this being a life changing conversation?

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