Welcome back! In our last lesson, I introduced the Upfront Agreement, a leadership practice that can have an immensely positive effect on the accountability culture in your workplace. In the remaining lessons, I’ll break down the various components of the Upfront Agreement so you’ll have all the tools you’ll need.

Today, we’ll discuss the first component of the Upfront Agreement:

Intentions in Our Relationship

Fundamentally, the Upfront Agreement is about your relationship with each individual team member. Experiment with any questions that will point you toward clarifying the kind of relationship you want and hope to have.

Here are some good openers:

  • How can I be a good leader for you?
  • What will enable you to get the most out of our relationship?
  • In an ideal world, what sort of relationship do you hope we will be able to create?
  • What else do you think we need in order to create a successful relationship?
  • What are some of your personal and professional values (education, hard work, love, courage, fairness, loyalty, integrity, etc.)? How might these affect our working relationship?
  • What are some of your strengths? What are some of mine?
  • I’d like to encourage you to be open with me, without fear of any sort of retribution. What can I do to assure you that I have your best interests at heart?

Do you see how clarifying these points could enhance the quality and effectiveness of your relationships at work? What about at home?

Stay tuned until next time, when we’ll talk about how to use the Upfront Agreement to spell out responsibilities and expectations.

Alan