We’ve been working down the list of the key components of an Upfront Agreement. Today we’ll talk about how important it is to include:
Permission and Requests
“Permission” is not a word that’s used a lot in a business context. But it can be helpful to ask for and receive permission to do certain things, such as give honest feedback, or admit that one or both of you is uncertain about something–or simply, in the case of some of my clients, permission to take notes during coaching sessions.
While note-taking may seem a natural activity in a business meeting, getting permission upfront for coaching sessions can be important. Some people feel like you’re not paying attention to them if you’re taking notes.
When you ask for permission to take notes, it’s an opportunity to explain how the notes will be used: to clarify your agreements, to remind you both of action items, and for other legitimate purposes. In other words, you can explain that note taking actually helps you pay closer attention. Also, by talking about this, you can ease any fears that the notes might be used against them, or placed in their personnel files, as people sometimes suspect. And at the end of a coaching session, when you’re recapping what’s been said and agreed to, the other person will notice that indeed, your note taking came in handy.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What would you like permission to do or say with me?
- How do you feel about taking notes during our coaching session?
- What should we do if our questions get off track, or one of us starts “storytelling”?
- What other sorts of requests would we like to make of each other?
- What other kinds of permissions would we like to have from each other, or give to each other?
Watch for your next Accountability Lesson–because you can’t have accountability without consequences.