The Four Agreements
A while ago I read a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Since that time, he added a fifth agreement, so it looks like I need to catch up. Because I am more familiar with the four agreements, I will concentrate on them.
The Four Agreements is not just a book, but a way of life. It is based on the Toltec (pronounced toll-tech) tradition. The Toltec were a group of scientists and artists who formed their own society to study and preserve spiritual knowledge. They wanted to keep the practices of the "ancient ones" or ancestors alive.
The fundamental premise behind the Toltec tradition is to make choices that create happiness. Because when we are happy on the inside, we bring the best part of ourselves to the world outside. So, as we examine The Four Agreements, think about what it means to create an environment that allows you to thrive and be happy, from a business and personal perspective.
Be Impeccable with Your Word
The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. We manifest goals and intentions through our word. This is because our word is the force that creates all events in our life. So, what you think and say matters.
To be impeccable with your word means to only say what you mean. If you tell someone you are going to do something, do it. It does not matter if you make the promise to an employee, peer, leader, family member, or friend. Do what you say. Do it on time and with high quality.
Don't Take Anything Personally
The moment you become a leader, you make a commitment to the people that work for you. The agreements you make with yourself determine how you honor that commitment, govern yourself and ultimately lead your team.
This may sound counterintuitive, but as a leader, you are not directly responsible for how your employees manage themselves. This is because who your employees are and what they do is based on agreements they make with themselves. Despite this fact, it is possible for your employees to "feel" like what you do affects them, and that perception alone means you do have some influence over them.
How you show up on a daily basis can affect the agreements your employees make with you as their leader in particular and the company as a whole. For example, if you constantly show up to meetings late and unprepared, it may set a precedent for your employees to do the same. So, when you do not honor your word as a leader, don't take it personally when quality is poor, performance is substandard, and employee morale is low.
How you and your team manage yourselves is an agreement, and it is one you make with each other every day based on your actions. Make sure the agreements you make are ones that both you and your team can live with and support.
Don't Make Assumptions
When we make assumptions about why a person does, says, or feels something, it can cause us to take things personally. When we take things personally, our feelings can get hurt. And, then we, in turn, create a cycle of emotional negativity for ourselves and those around us. If you are unclear or unsure about something, ask questions and get clarification. Deal with facts and reality, not your perceptions and opinions.
Always Do Your Best
If we bring our best self to every situation, no more is ever required of us. Bring your best thoughts, ideas, concepts, and solutions to work. Not only do you grow as a person, but your team and company succeed as well.
It is important to note that your best may vary based on the day and circumstances. For example, your best on Monday might not be the same on Thursday, and that is okay. No one day is the same, and neither are you, so take each day as it comes. The "most" you can do is your "best" in every given situation every day.
For November and December, My People Spotlight will highlight holiday traditions instead of people influencers.
Thanksgiving Day is an American national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. The holiday was started as a harvest celebration by the Pilgrims and Wampanoags (pronounced wump-uh-nogs) as a way to say thank you to the Creator for producing a successful crop. Thanksgiving was also used to teach children about American freedom and how to be upright citizens.
Today, Thanksgiving is more of a time for family and friends to gather together, eat good food, and show appreciation for each other. So, this year as you take time to say "thanks," remember to show appreciation to your:
Until next time...
Latarsha Horne is an ICF Credentialed Coach who helps new and emerging leaders feel more confident, decisive and empowered to take charge and do their jobs. Her coaching style is energy-action based, open-minded, and straight-forward. If you want to be challenged and grow, she's the coach for you.