Whether in personal relationships, or when building communities and organisations – making agreements to define a container and cultivate a healthy culture is crucial.
My grief is often (if not always) at the heart of my broken peace. When I feel that emotive charge within myself and I communicate and act whilst still connected to the feeling – I often (if not always) cause conflict.
Today conflict is present for me. There’s a difference between speaking openly and frankly whilst maintaining peace and speaking violently. Non Violent Communication (NVC) tends to be the difference.
It’s when boundaries are overstepped that we feel aggrieved and challenged. This is why making agreements with others is so important if we wish to create and live in a culture of peace.
1. Agreements create a container of peace – through consensus we establish our boundaries and empower ourselves to manage our behaviours. Agreements make us aware of where expectations are in relationships and can inform our choices and behaviours.
2. Agreements invite horizontal relational dynamics – rather than have power over, agreements enable us to have power with. We are able to hold ourselves accountable, whilst understanding completely when we are held accountable by others. If unreasonable force is used to maintain agreements this can be challenged healthily and be diffused.
3. Agreements cultivate a safe environment – when we feel safe we become freer in our movements and our sharing. We dare to venture into vulnerability. We understand what we can do and what will be tolerated – maybe invited – and what is not.
The agreement process itself is important and deserves to be honoured with time, because how the agreements are created, will inform everything we do from that moment forwards. It’s important to refresh our commitment and relationship to our agreements periodically, so we understand what our place is in relationship to them and how we ought to behave with each other.
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