It’s no secret that for any kind of relationship to work you have to be able to work well together. But you can’t exactly work well together without first establishing your shared values, norms, and expectations. That’s where the power of a working agreement comes in a.k.a. the ground rules that define how couples, groups, and teams work best together.
I was recently reminded of just how powerful a working agreement can be after my wife and I found ourselves repeatedly miscommunicating about the same thing. Naturally, I suggested that we revisit our current working agreement together so that we could not only resolve the issue at hand but set some ground rules for how to address similar issues down the road.
Since our main issue was miscommunicating around some pretty mundane house chores, we started by addressing how we want to best communicate everyday messages versus a reminder about what needs to be done and when. Once we agreed on the fact that a reminder or message with more urgency around it should be communicated at a time that relates to the task at hand, we were able to come to a mutual understanding on how to best handle our current issue and ones like it moving forward.
Of course, keep in mind that working agreements can be made up of many different things for many different people. However, there are 5 components every good working agreement should have:
Now that you know what makes a good working agreement, what changes are you excited to add to your working agreement with your partner or team? Share them in the comments below.