Seeking collaborative rpAgreement within a work relationship by using rpMat™ and rpWEaver™
V 1.3 3-6-2012 DMa The best path to QR improvement is SHARED understanding, accountability ... and rewards, ... each based upon diagnostic dialog, followed by clear, documented, itemized, mutual AGREEMENT.
1. Preparation prior to using rpMat and rpWEaver: - A) have up-to-date QR Snapshot - B) have foundational knowledge by leveraging your rpPaq resources.
A. It's generally best to have an up-to-date QR Snapshot in hand before seeking agreement. Having current QR information provides you with a more accurate baseline of your work relationship's vital signs for a better perspective of the relationship's present quality. As you review the current QR information, carefully consider the perspectives of both parties while noting any key differences of each party's realities versus assumptions (dotted lines).
B. General preparation as to your knowledge:
- We suggest that you review the various points and the process that you will find in Improving your QR guide (shown above, and also found at the lower area of your rpDashboard™).
- As applicable, you may also wish to once again review Work's a We Thing™ and its insert, Elli's Notes.
- Keep in mind that you have the Career Fulcrum™ and the 4-part rpQuickStarts™ resources that you can use to your advantage, should you need to dig deeper in understanding certain principles related to your relationship and its improvement (each also found at: http://www.rppaq.com/). The Universal Work Role Framework™ (UWRF™) can also offer sound structure for diagnostics and remedies (Part 4 of rpQuickStarts).
- Through preparation, you will enjoy the benefits of having better thinking by possessing a broad general knowledge regarding work relationships. Doing so also provides one with a greater degree of confidence and an expanded perspective of the various forces at play within work relationships.
- Be very careful to avoid reaching any conclusions, developing prejudices or having any assumptions regarding reasons, issues or causes of suboptimal relationship quality prior to diagnostic dialog with the other party.
2. Prior to collaborating with the rpWeaver tool, seek and have a "diagnostic dialog" by using a current rpMat™ as a useful checklist.
It is suggested that prior to collaborating with rpWeaver, that you seek and have substantive dialog to gain better understanding of the other party's perspectives, as well as ensuring you have fully expressed your work relationship needs and aversions. Face-to-face dialog conducted in a constructive manner and in a neutral setting is a superlative way to begin a path to a better relationship.
The rpMat is designed to be an aid and support mechanism for better dialog. It is found immediately to the right of your QRSnapshot in your rpDashboard. (Another reason for having an up-to-date QRSnapshot is having a current rpMat™ with that QRSnapshot placed within the rpMat.) The rpMat is a guide, a checklist, and serves as your notes during dialog to ensure you accomplish your objectives within the dialog. The rpMat shows the most recent QRSnapshot in the upper right hand portion of the document. (We call it a "mat" since it is designed such that you and the other party can have these laying in front of each of you during your dialog, ensuring that both have the structure and information needed for optimal dialog.)
You will notice that the rpMat encourages you to:
- be well prepared with thoughts, questions, needs and knowledge before dialog.
- ensure that you choose a neutral and undistracted setting for dialog (it should not be in one's office or workspace, no interruptions or distractions should be permitted).
- be empathetic and diligently probe to uncover and understand the other party's perspectives, needs and aversions.
- be prepared to propose what you need in a manner that is most acceptable and advantageous to the other party.
Other tips for dialog:
- be as forthcoming, specific and authentic as possible.
- don't let important factors fester beneath the surface and go unstated.
- leverage the QR structure and other RP frameworks such as the Universal Work Role Framework to desensitize, diagnose and discuss difficult topics, or point of conflict.
- stay constructive and focus solely upon the improvement and wellness of the "work relationship" (as opposed to making it "personal" or "emotional" or "adversarial").
- take a break, recess or reschedule if, and as, needed.
- continue to understand and duly consider the other party's viewpoint.
- realize that you, as well as the other party, always have choice.
- be reasonable.
- continue to leverage all of your rpPaq resources, especially your "Improvement Guide."
- do not go into dialog unprepared or when possessing counterproductive emotions or stresses.
Remember, if at any time you need personal help or feel the need for counsel, reach out to our help desk or set a phone appointment to have a guidance session with one of our rpExperts. We work for you.
If I had eight hours to chop down a tree,
I would spend six sharpening my ax.
Close dialog by discussing the need to now use rpWeaver in a timely manner to document the path to improvements, and clearly define each party's accountabilities for the improvements. During your dialog with the other party, or immediately afterwards, mutually recognize the dangers of relying upon verbal understandings and oral agreements. Therefore, ensure clarity, prevent assumptions and define accountabilities for QR improvement by using rpWeaver. Instructions to do so follow.
3. An overview of the rpWEaver process and its three main components: ... "Builder," ... "rpCollaborator" and ... "rpAgreement."
rpWeaver is comprised of three basic components (or online environments/pages):
A. Builder™ ... this is where each party enters their itemized thoughts which they desire to be a part of the ultimate rpAgreement. This includes any specific perspectives, needs, aversions, ideas, accountabilities, requirements, etc. To ensure that each party more fully and effectively communicates their perspectives, the Builder is comprised of four separate contextual lists. Carefully consider each title and place your items in the correct area. Although each list is optional, all of them can be beneficial for understanding, clarity and attention to these four different major contexts of QR work relationship improvement. It is important to itemize all topics separately. Do not combine items, for this can make collaboration more difficult or confusing.
B. rpCollaborator™ ... all items from each party's Builder list are placed within the rpCollaborator. Here all items from both parties are combined and displayed so that each person can review, request more dialog or information, or agree on each item with a "Shake." At any time, you can review the accumulating Shakes at the "Shakes List." At the point that either party has enough Shakes in place within the Shakes List to satisfy their needs and requirements, they can "Accept" the Shakes List (as is). Once both parties have "Accepted" the Shakes, an Agreement is formed.
Always keep in mind that rpWeaver is just a tool for understanding and documentation, and as such, it's always good and appropriate to return to dialog at anytime to have conversation, negotiation or reach compromises on items or topics.
C. rpAgreement™ ... this is where the Agreement that is in place is accessed, displayed and archived for both parties' future reference. Keep in mind that Agreements can be modified when either party has the need to do so. Doing so should begin, once more, by seeking dialog.
Keep in mind, a few of the primary objectives of rpWeaver are:
- preventing dangerous assumptions
- distributing and defining each party's accountabilities
- instructing future expectations
4. Access rpWEaver at your rpDashboard.
From your rpDashboard, select the "Builder" (hammer) icon to use rpWeaver with any specific work role relationship that's within the rpDashboard.
Note: Getting into rpAgreement can be especially valuable and timely when a QRSnapshot is revealing jeopardy, as shown in this partial view of an actual supervisor's rpDashboard.
5. Builder offers you four contextual lists to express your itemized information. Carefully note and comply with the titles.
You will notice that the Builder provides 4 different list areas for items and expressions related to improving the QR of a work role relationship, as each of the 4 titles describe.
There are three basic user actions in the Builder: - list making, - saving/previewing, - sending to the rpCollaborator:
A) To place an item in a chosen list, select the "pencil icon" (no. 1 above). This will provide a space for you to add items, and/or allow you to edit any item in the future. Any of the 4 areas can be used to effectively express what you offer and/or need.
B) Whenever you desire, select "Save and Preview" (no. 2 above) to save your items and see how the other party will view your items. In the rpCollaborator, BE SURE TO "SAVE" before you exit this page or before closing your browser for any reason. If you do not save, all added items will be lost, cannot be recovered and will need to be re-entered.
C) When the proposed items are ready to be sent to the rpCollaborator for the other party to see, select "Send rpWeaver Invitation" (no. 3 above).
We suggest that before completing (sending), you consider the "tips and guidance" provided (no. 4). Note that these tips are also at the lower area of the page as well. Also, we suggest that you read the red disclaimer (no. 5) about your items, the other party's items, the ultimate rpAgreement and any other aspect of rpWeaver which is not considered as legally-binding, legal advice or a legal document in any manner whatsoever by, or for, either party. rpWeaver, like all aspects of Relationship Performance™, is designed solely for making work better, ... not for seeking lawyers and courtrooms.
6. Once you have entered your information into the Builder, invite the other party to view and collaborate with you regarding QR improvement.
7. In the rpCollaborator, interact freely with each other to the degree you each need, then choose from three options on each item.
A) The other party will receive an invitation from you by e-mail. He/she can review the proposed items in the "Collaborator," and can, if they so desire, add their own items in their own Builder, and when completed, send them to the rpCollaborator to be added.
B) Each party reviews each of the items, then must choose one of three responses for each item that is submitted by the other party (no. 1 above):
- "Shake" ... indicating a "yes" or positive response to that item
- "No Shake" ... indicating a "no" or negative response to that item
- "Need more info/dialog" ... indicating that you seek to learn more about this
To aid in face-to-face collaboration, a handy, print-friendly "dialog reference" form is provided to take with you to the dialog (no. 2 above).
1) In rpWeaver it is understood that each party seeks, accepts and agrees to the items that they specifically submit themselves, thus they do not need to Shake on the items they submit.
2) Each party will be able to return to their respective Builder to add, delete or modify items (at the add/edit pencil).
8. Respond "as is" or add items.
At the bottom of the Collaborator, each party can select whether they want to respond "as is" or if they would like to respond and add more items to the potential Agreement. If the latter is chosen, the person then will be taken to the Builder to add items for consideration. Note: Only the creator of an item can modify or delete it.
9. Move about as you need.
11. At the point you are satisfied with the Shakes that are in place, "accept" them.
When the "Shakes" become sufficient in terms of quality and quantity that either party finds to be acceptable, they can select the checkbox to "accept" them. If they are not acceptable in the view of either party, additional attention can be paid to expressing and collaborating on items. When both parties have accepted, an rpAgreement is formed.
12. Access your rpAgreement.
13. Review the rpAgreement.
14. Access rpWeaver and your rpAgreement from the rpDashboard.
15. Accurately express your perspectives, closely monitor the other party's perspectives of the QR improvements through timely, regular QRSnapshots.
Both parties should return to dialog and rpWeaver when needs or circumstances change and make modifications to their rpAgreement that benefit the quality of the work relationship. With the rpAgreement in place, both parties should openly express their viewpoints related to improving quality of the QR (or lack thereof) through monthly QR Snapshots. If either party is not being fully accountable to any responsibility they have for QR improvement, as defined and instructed in the rpAgreement, do not delay in addressing. Return to dialog if anything is off-track. Don't allow a low quality work situation to fester!