Agreements for Collaborations

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Have you ever found yourself in a collaboration or team effort spin-out?  Have you ever walked away from a meeting with others and said, “What the hell just happened?” or “I don't like the way this turned out?”  If you have, then likely you have either NO agreements in place, the agreements are not defined well enough, or the agreements were not honored. This is not good...but it is fixable and it is manageable, provided that all of the terms are stated, agreed upon, and written down.  It’s really that easy. The hard part is nailing down everyone’s true needs, desires, and expectations. In this blog we will explore this topic. 

Needs

Defined as “Of Necessity,” needs are things which you require in order to feel whole or complete, or in some cases to survive, literally.  Food is a need. Shelter is a need. Water is a need... Granted, all of these are a means for survival but in less extreme situations, like in matters of business, money amounts, back-end kickbacks (royalties), specific securities, operation agreements and such, are all things that one would need to feel that their business entity is thriving. Know what these needs are for yourself. 

  • What are your needs? Can you list them?

  • What are your partners’ or collaborators’ needs?

Desires

Defined as “A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.”  Desires are good to have so that they fuel dreams and aspirations. They can serve as ideals to reach for. Desires can include eventual attainments such as a house, a savings of X amount, higher-end equipment, a successful, professional team, and more.  

  • What are your desires?... Can you list them?...

  • What are your partners’ or collaborators’ desires?

Expectations

“A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.” Expectations need to be managed carefully.  Agreed upon expectations are okay as long as they are consensually shared and contributed to. Harboring unhealthy expectations, especially one-sided ones, can be dangerous emotionally and mentally.  Stress or strife can be the result of expectations that fell short or didn’t manifest, and this kind of distraction and discord CAN be avoided if mindfulness is applied when setting up one’s visions. 

  • What are your expectations?... Are they realistic and attainable?.. 

  • What are your collaborators’ or partners’ expectations?  Are they realistic and attainable?

Bringing It All Together

Needs, expectations, and desires are some of the core elements that should be present as part of your agreements. These are some of the major building blocks that set the tone for so many other aspects of the agreement making process. Really take the time to identify the essence of each of these elements, as individuals in a collaboration, and then once they have been more thoroughly understood, then share your findings with each other.  See where the common ground is and see what could use further negotiation. Know these things and your agreements will have a strong foundation to create upon.

Hopefully this blog has helped you understand the rudiments of agreement making, and also aided in the pursuit of discovering more about yourself and your collaborator.  

Till next time, be well


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