Making and keeping good agreements
Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.
It’s that time of year when many of us are reflecting on the months that have passed and thinking ahead to resolutions for the year to come. But as leaders, we make promises or agreements throughout the year – and ensuring that we act with integrity and stay true to our word is vital for smooth-flowing team work. In today’s post we look at the practice of making and keeping good agreements.
Next week I’m taking part in a panel discussion about the role of trust in communities at the Community Roundtable’s annual CRConnect event. Ahead of that I wanted to share a few reflections about trust.
Trust and vulnerability come hand in hand
Trust is ultimately about a willingness to make our vulnerability visible to another – and to believe that they won’t take that show of vulnerability and abuse it to hurt us. Vulnerability can take many forms from revealing a secret fear to a friend, to sharing key insights with a collaborator or admitting to a supervisor that we need more support.
The moment at which we take the plunge and share our vulnerability is always transitional – the next steps for the relationship hang in the balance until we receive a response from the person we’re sharing with. If our revelation is met with reassurance, care, and appropriate respect then we’re likely to share again and the relationship will continue to develop. Break the boundaries of the tentative formation of a safe space and the relationship may be damaged temporarily or permanently, depending on the scale of the breach.
Social in silico includes a series of occasional posts focused on community management tips and related information. I’m tagging these Considering Community and you can find all the posts in the series here.
For regular online communities, such as those hosted by an organisation, we looked at the four stage model of the community lifecycle described in Rich Millington’s “Buzzing Communities”. Last week, we considered a different type of community – a social-impact network where the emphasis is on group members working together for a social good. In “Connecting to Change the World”, the authors discuss three different stages of a social-impact network – and how it’s possible to transition between them. Let’s consider this connect-align-produce model.