Commitment #8: I Choose to Meet People Where We Are Aligned

 

Commitment #8:

I choose to meet people at the layer we are both aligned to meet at

As leaders, we get to empower people to work together toward a common goal. Often, this means many diverse personality types are working together, which could potentially lead to conflict, disagreement, or disconnection.

Alignment vs. Agreement

So what’s the difference between agreement and alignment, and which matters most for you and your team? Sometimes success requires both, but it’s important to first understand the difference so you can decide which is a better fit for your team’s culture and goals. 

Agreement is a meeting of the minds in a common intention. When in agreement, each individual feels that their ideas play an active role in the company’s decision making process.
Alignment is less about the individual’s perspective and more about the state of the group as a whole. Alignment can be defined as “bringing parts into proper relative position; to adjust, to bring into proper relationship or orientation.”

The defining difference between the two is this: in an agreement, there’s a consensus about the goal and the means of achieving the goal. When you’re in alignment, you may disagree about how the goal should be achieved, but you’re on board with the trajectory of the goal and are committed to making it happen. 

An organization doesn’t necessarily need complete agreement for the team to succeed. As long your crew is aware and aligned with the ultimate vision, your team will be inspired, empowered, and self-motivated. 

The Layers of WHOLE  

W   World

H   History

O   Organization

L   Love

E   Experience

As a leader, it is your responsibility and opportunity to discover, connect, and align with the perspectives of your team. The good news is, each of these layers presents countless opportunities to do so! Actively seek to acknowledge where your team shines and struggles— and guide them to do more of what they love, what they’re good at, and what makes them feel fulfilled.

Investing in your team this way will not only strengthen your personal connection; it will also create an environment where your team is comfortable to be creative, experiment, and grow. This is where innovation happens!

CHOOSING TO ALIGN

If you feel disconnected in your work, or even in relationships with friends and family,  you’re likely out of alignment and/or agreement with the overall mission. So… what do you do when you’re the one that’s out of alignment? How do you maintain integrity and authenticity while still moving forward? The key here is to choose to meet people wherever you’re aligned and build from there. 

This looks a little different whether you’re in a personal or professional setting.

On a personal level, this looks like intentionally connecting however possible. Between your worldview, history, your views on organization, love, and mutual experiences— there’s always a layer you can align with. Find it, invest in it, and nurture the connection to help it grow. If you can communicate openly about the overall goal of the relationship (for example, you may want to work toward being lifelong and loyal friends, a strong a healthy example of marriage for younger generations, or committed accountability partners) it becomes much easier to identify when you’re veering off-track and need to realign.

Professionally, it’s a little more straightforward. Focus on the larger goal of the organization and what you can do today to help make it happen. Direct your attention to the bigger picture instead of yourself, and when necessary, approach disagreement with humility. Help your team see the values they bring to the table that contribute to the growth and success of your organization, and acknowledge how their gifts align with your focus and direction as a company.

Validate the perspectives that you discover in this process, carefuilly listen to others’ experiences, and be flexible enough to make changes when you need to realign. Your effort will create more meaningful relationships and  you’ll love what you do even more!  
 
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