Every leader knows that nothing gets done in organizations without agreements. Teamwork is essentially a network of agreements. When people make powerful agreements with one another – and deliver on them – amazing things can happen in the world.
This is probably why the book, The Four Agreements – by don Miguel Ruiz – has sold more than 10 million copies over the past twenty-five years.
Ruiz suggests that the most important agreements we make are with ourselves. The Four Agreements establish a code of conduct which – if followed – can lead to a life of joy and fulfillment. They are:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstanding, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
These agreements are elegant in their simplicity. Take some reflection time and think about whether you want to make these agreements with yourself. If you do, then regularly reflect on how well you are doing. Closely following the agreements can help transform your relationship with yourself and others.