Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:00:02]:
You are allowed to be whole. I’m Dr. Caneel Joyce. Today we’re going to talk about how to create high integrity agreements, how to create a very clear agreement so that all parties know if you’re in integrity or not, and you can move toward repairing it if you begin to fall out of integrity there. It’s quite easy to a misunderstanding down the line if you’re vague upfront. And there’s a benefit to getting concrete when you’re doing things like creating agreements, because it’s so very, very common for us flawed, biased humans to have misunderstandings. We’ve probably all been in a circumstance like that. We often set ourselves up to fall out of integrity right at the beginning because we create agreements that themselves don’t have a lot of integrity in them, meaning they are not contained, they are not aligned, or they are not clear. I want to teach you today about what a clear agreement is, how you can make one, why that’s so important for integrity.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:01:14]:
And again, you can apply this in any part of your life, your work life, your home life, your personal life, your creative life, and your relationship with yourself. So what is a clear agreement? A clear agreement is an agreement where it’s very clear who will do what, by when, and how will everybody know that it’s been completed, who will do what, by when, and how will we know it’s been completed. Let’s take that beat by beat. Who’s going to do what? This is one where I often see agreements, they become vague right at the onset. You’ve been in a meeting or a conversation where it’s, let’s do this. Yeah, let’s take care of that issue. Let’s go and make this goal happen. But who’s on deck, who’s on first, who’s meant to do that thing? It happens often for very below the line reasons, actually, of, well, I wouldn’t want to impose upon you.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:02:07]:
So I’m not going to directly ask if you will be the one to do this thing, because I’m making up a bunch of stories that that would make you a victim or that you’d get angry or whatever. Maybe I don’t even have a whole body yes, for you doing the agreement. But we often fail to define who is in charge. So it’s always useful if you really want something to get done to have an accountable party, make sure it’s really, really clear who is on deck to be the one that’s accountable, meaning they are in charge of reporting back if the thing happened or not. And they’re ultimately the ones who are accountable for its completion, even if they’re not responsible for executing and they’re going to delegate it or what have you. So find that one person. The next issue here is what, what exactly is supposed to be done? What exactly are you going to do in the real world? And I think we sometimes fail to make that clear, even with ourselves. Because on some level we’re scared or we don’t want to do it to begin with, and maybe we don’t want to do it because we’re scared.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:03:13]:
Right? So I’m going to get in better shape, might be an example. But how? I don’t have a plan for that. There’s no action that I actually am committed enough to, that I’m even willing to state it. I certainly don’t want to hold myself accountable for it. It’s just a vague intention, which is fine. There’s totally a place for that. It’s just not an agreement. So an agreement is really what propels me into action.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:03:39]:
So make sure that what is super, super clear. And here’s how you know it’s clear. A clear what in your agreement means that anybody who knows what that what is would know without a shadow of a doubt if it had been completed or not. It’s an objective, unarguable, fact based what. Here’s what I will do. There’s no subjectivity about it. We’re both going to know if it happened or it didn’t. Now, the by when, what’s the timeline here? When’s this going to happen by again, this is another one where when we feel scared, maybe there’s some creative resistance or some we’re intimidated, some impostor syndrome.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:04:21]:
We fail to set a deadline. I actually don’t like that word, deadline. It’s a lifeline. It’s life giving to get into action and make things happen. And sometimes our by when we could define that even in a vague way, we’ll do it by the time that we’ve done these other things, and it’s going to be sometime in this time range. I don’t need to be like nitpicky and super specific every single time, but if I’m not even willing to give some sort of a plan around the contingencies, then maybe, AHA, that’s a great thing to notice, because that means perhaps you didn’t have a whole body yes. To actually completing this. So if defining any step of this agreement, you come against resistance, lean into it.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:05:08]:
Don’t be like, oh, well, I shouldn’t feel resistance. I shouldn’t feel scared. No, explore it. This is the time to do that. Really check in and see does this agreement feel good? Many, many decisions about agreements. You can take a little bit more time than you might be allowing yourself to have. You can say, I’ll come back to you with this specific thing on this specific date. And then there’s the new agreement.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:05:31]:
Right? The agreement is we will have a conversation about it, or I will do some thinking about it, I will get to clarity, and I will come back to you with an update on this date. That is an agreement. So don’t ever put yourself in the position, if you can help it, of forcing yourself into an agreement before you’re ready. That’s an opportunity to check something out. It’s valuable. Now, the last element of an agreement, again, it’s who will do what by when, and how will I know? How will we know? Is that’s the accountability piece? That’s where and when and who is going to deliver the account of what happened. Meaning did it happen? Did it not happen? What exactly went down? And this can be a very simple and brief thing, like checking a box. It could also be quite extensive, like giving a presentation or a deck or writing up a report.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:06:17]:
However, it’s something, again, that’s directly observable and it’s in the concrete, real world. How will I know once I’ve got my clear agreement set? Now this. Oh, my gosh, I’ve just completed such a big and important piece of creative work. Often so many of the missteps in execution, they seem like they happen while you’re busy executing. But the misstep actually happened because you didn’t think through the agreement to begin with. Really forcing yourself to get to that level of clarity about what exactly is going to happen, who’s going to do it, when’s it going to happen, how are we going to know it got done? That takes care of so many of the creative kinks in my experience in executing on a huge variety of projects and goals. And now both parties can be clear about what they’re accountable for or all parties can be clear about that. And that means we can now have clear and conscious and drama free conversations about the status of said project.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:07:15]:
So here’s your coaching exercise for today. This is going to take just a minute or two. Connect to your gut. Where are you out of integrity? What agreement has been lingering ignored or looming over your head and undet with? Where you have not done what you said you would do or what you intended to do? Where’s one, where you’re concerned, perhaps that it’s too vague, it’s not well defined, or there’s not enough clarity between shared clarity between parties that anyone would actually know if the agreement got completed or not. Without a shadow of a doubt and without any drama. Great. So hopefully you’ve identified something. Now, from this point, you have so many choices about how you’re going to deal with it.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:08:14]:
You don’t need to go deep into psychoanalyzing yourself here and trying to understand why. Why? No, you don’t need to do that. Now it’s time to get into action. How can you get back into integrity? And like so many things in personal growth, one of the most important questions to ask yourself at this point is, what do I really want? What am I actually willing to do? What am I actually willing to be committed to completing? Meaning I will do all I can in my own creative control. Everything I can control about this, I’m going to control, because I am willing to sign up for it. And then you can get into creating the agreement that you want as you move toward creating that new renegotiated agreement, which might be, I’m not going to do this thing at all, or I want this to get done, but it’s not going to be me. Or I want this to get done, but it’s not going to be you. It’s going to be me.
Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:09:15]:
There’s a million ways you could do it, but once you get to that place and you have that clarity, now you’re in a creative mode. And that is such a gift to you, because it’s going to instantly free up your energy and your aliveness, and you’ll have way easier access to flow. And that’s what it’s all about. Allowed.