Be it resolved: We value our relationship over the agreement

Signing the agreement

Image courtesy of USEmbMalta on Flickr

Congratulations.  You resolved your differences.  You settled your dispute and reached agreement on how to move forward.

What happens though when something goes wrong down the road?  What will pull you through, sustain you, the strength of your relationship or the terms of agreement?

Navigate from the Future

Agreements keep us focused on our goals.  Although one never knows what will happen on the dispute resolution journey, it is best to maximize your chances for success, before you begin.

Navigate from the future.  Manifest your desired results.

Craft effective agreements

Effective agreements have implementation in mind, what happens afterwards.

An effective agreement clarifies intent and vision, roles, promises, time and value, satisfaction metrics, concerns and risks, conflict resolution

An effective agreement details how the issues are to be dealt with; payment terms, other terms for which no amount of liquidated damages are specified, enforcement or interpretation measures, whether the agreement is signed in, good faith, and/or legally binding.

An effective agreement is clear about what the consequences are if we don’t honour our commitments.  Think in the format, if that happens, then we do this.  I’m a fan of if-then-else logic (I’ve found it useful in many contexts, way beyond what I envisioned during my years as a computer programmer, way back when coding if-then-else statements).

The paradox of agreements is that implementation is not a done deal. The future is uncertain, even with an agreement in hand.  How will you address that uncertainty when it arrives?

Address the relationship (assuming it matters to you)

Base results on collaborative agreement.  Minimize protection-oriented legalistic ways.  Build an agreement that you can trust; one that we are comfortable moving forward with, a meeting of the hearts.

Value the relationship over the agreement.  If the agreement isn’t crafted with relationship in mind, is it not an Us vs. Them?

Bottom line: Create practical, vital agreements, based on relationship.

How about you? How do you recognize the value of relationship in your formal agreements?  Leave a comment.



  1. Enjoyed reading this. So many companies say they are interested in relationships. I took a workshop from a Business “Guru” this weekend, and sounded like he cared…that is what he kept saying. But everything was really ALL about him and his FUTURE income.

  2. Sounds like the guru was lacking some authenticity… given you didn’t buy into the message. Thanks for dropping by, Kristi. Hope your weekend is going well, otherwise!


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