Workplace: Agreement versus Commitment

Ongoing learning is my number one motivator. I discovered this about myself decades ago and find it to be true of every day since then. During these work-from-home days, I’ve been tuning in to a variety of presentations and happily picking up new ideas. Workplace reading has been added to my list too: The Advantage and An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization.

Top ideas for the week:

  • Agreement versus commitment came up during a workforce talent development association meeting (virtual meeting that is). The presenter said: “just because someone agrees doesn’t mean they are committed to taking action.” Valuable reminder! How many times have we thought someone was going to take action because they agreed to the project only to discover that no, or very little, work was done? Each time you ask a peer for help, direct an employee, or seek input from a supervisor, you will want to confirm that commitment to take action is included in the person’s agreement with what you’ve presented or requested.

Completion of tasks is a performance requirement. As a result, agreement without commitment and completion is empty.

  • Speaking of agreement, I learned years ago about levels of consensus (agreement) and how some levels mean no action will be taken and that intentional project sabotage may even occur. Building on this understanding, I wrote Moving Out of the Box (Stanford University Press and AMAZON carries it) It is about team decision making, recognizing that as leaders we want to understand others’ points of view, and the five mindsets people find themselves in when making decisions. Learn about: Extreme Excitement; Engaged Enthusiasm, Neutral, Boxed-in, and Anti-Survival.
  • “Continual purpose seeking” is important said another online presenter. “Hold onto your goals tightly and your tactics/approaches loosely. If there is no clear purpose for doing something, don’t do it.” These succinct sentences say it all. Be flexible. Have purpose or don’t take action.

What did you learn last week?

What do you hope to learn this week?

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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