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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Dec 14, 2018

In this episode of Agile Coaches’ Corner, your host, Dan Neumann, is joined by his guest, Principal Transformation Consultant and fellow AgileThought colleague, Christy Erbeck. And today, they’re discussing working agreements.

Christy Erbeck is a client-focused executive dedicated to leading strategic change. She has broad domestic and international experience in corporate strategy, change management, program management and leadership communications. As an Industrial & Organizational Psychologist, Christy is a compassionate and courageous collaborator who is passionate about coaching and developing others and aiding organizations in transformation. Her specialties include business agility and change management, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), manufacturing, distribution and service organizations, creating customer and employee-focused strategies, innovation, and much more.

Join Dan and Christy this episode as they have an in-depth discussion about the importance of having a working agreement in place, her tips for setting up a work agreement with a new team, and how to rework a working agreement that has already been established.

Key Takeaways

  • The importance of having a working agreement in place:
    • Helps teams work through problems they’re struggling with (such as core working hours, handling conflict, and creating a safe working environment)
    • Helps teams come up with their definition of “normal”
    • Sets a clear path to a future they would like to see with the team
    • It gives people permission to show up fully to the event at-hand
  • Christy’s tips for setting up a work agreement with a new team:
    • Give people the time they need to think through what they want to see in the working agreement
    • Eliminate and reduce anxiety by clearly illustrating the process for them
    • Set the stage that it is a safe space to bring their ideas
    • Utilize the facilitation technique, 1-2-4-All (linked below)
    • Boil it down to the core ideas and vet it against messy, tough scenarios
    • Allow the right amount of time to create the working agreement — it is not something that is meant to be rushed through
    • Humor is important — allow the space to have fun
  • Christy’s tips for reworking a working agreement that has already been established:
    • Establish what is and isn’t working in the working agreement
    • Figure out why it isn’t working and what the team wants to do differently
    • Ask the questions: is the working agreement serving us or are we serving the work agreement? Is it aligned with our values?

Key Learnings:

  • A working agreement reminds teams of their mission
  • It helps to create a safe space to share ideas and reminds the team to continue delivering value
  • Serves the team in helping them through continued work struggles

Mentioned in this Episode:

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