“When your organization has shared agreements, you can leverage those agreements to create space for HUMANE interactions between departments”
Dr. Autumn Thomas
Agreements Between Departments
My favorite part of organizational agreements is that they lead to cross-departmental opportunities for restorative mediation.
When organizations grow, dehumanization can occur between departments. You will notice that your employees might complain about “marketing” or “sales” when they seem to actually be complaining about a particular person in that department. This is natural because we have a cognitive tendency to cheer for our team and create an us versus them bias.
Agreements allow for mediation. Whether it’s an HR representative, a manager, or peer mediator, you can use agreements as a way to put two humans, from different departments, together so they can see each other as people.
One of my favorite agreements is “assume positive intentions.” Because you HAVE to see the other person as a human being trying their best.
Are their intentions always good? Maybe not! I get that. If James from accounting assumes that Misty from marketing is probably working under some extreme deadlines and likes to make her content perfect, then they can have better conversation about the email she sent. James felt the email was disrespectful, but the agreement of “assume positive” opens the door to an amazing conversation. These two HUMANS can get along and work together well.
The mediation has to happen and it has to be skilled. If there are no agreements in place as an organization, a mediation can totally blow up. You must meet with each person ahead of time to pre-conference with them and then take them into the mediation with support.
Don’t expect each person to behave in a scripted way, but do understand that your organizational agreements will lead the conversation if they are strong and re-visited often.
Also, remember that we are here if you need support to go through this mud so your organization can bloom and thrive.