Our greatest joy is to know that our efforts pay off – for you. Let us know how you are enjoying the results of your revolutionary choices in your relationships, wellness and finances. Here are some of the hundreds of success stories that have been shared with us.
Spread the joy! Become a Certified Revolutionary Agreements Coach. Learn more at AgreementsInstitute.com.
The Agreements are the best tools for stress reduction I have ever found. [Dan’s success story]
…the result was nothing less than transformative. Both his relationship with his wife and his productivity at work experienced a dramatic turnaround. [Laurie’s success story]
Our agreements have made working together so much easier, with less struggle and difficulty among staff or with clients. [Melisa’s success story]
Incorporating the Agreements into my daily life has freed me in ways I did not think possible. I have changed what doesn’t work. I no longer feel the need to carry and solve others’ problems. [Joe’s success story]
Through the use of just one agreement, I was able to resolve this conflict directly, easily and amicably for both parties. . . [Kathy’s success story]
I learned that speaking my truth with compassion is not just telling someone else but acknowledging the truth to myself. [Carol’s success story]
The Agreements are the foundation and the reason our community is thriving. [Gail’s success story]
I incorporated the Agreements into my executive retreats. As a result, my programs achieved even greater depth. [Amy’s success story]
Had I agreed to listen with my heart earlier in life, I may have been able to give my daughter what she needed then to feel her daddy’s love. [Jordan’s success story]
…the newly acquired tools I learned from Revolutionary Agreements bolstered my courage to recreate my destiny at 57. [Ed’s success story]
We are using the Agreements with success in our personal community of family, core friends and coaching clients. [Peggy and Bob’s success story]
I keep a poster of the Agreements in my office as a reminder of what is available to me every day and when people look at them and ask, “What are those, Dan?” I say, “Well, I am so glad you asked. Got a few minutes?” [Dan B.’s success story]
The Agreements will definitely be integral to my skills as a parent. [Jean’s success story]
Revolutionary Agreements has become a handbook for integrating my professional and personal life and I recommend it to my team…[Judith’s success story]
Our marriage is stronger and more honest. [Sigrid’s success story]
Great relationships make successful businesses, and great relationships are based on the trust that comes from telling each other the truth, with compassion. [Dorothy’s success story]
The gift of twelve wonderful tools called the Revolutionary Agreements have helped me to reassert my life plan, mission and goals for my physical well-being, work and life. [Max’s success story]
My practice of the Agreements has become such a huge part of my life, enabling me to truly live my mission.[Kalama’s success story]
It provided the tools I needed to change a personally demeaning relationship at work. [Bill’s success story]
I firmly believe that change begins with me, and to that means and end, I continue to practice the Agreements to which I was introduced over 20 years ago. [Joanne’s success story]
The Revolutionary Agreements are a powerful guide for dealing with the constant changes in my life. [Josephine’s success story]
I now allow myself the freedom to speak, respecting both myself and the other person. [Susie’s success story]
When I think of the many examples of how the Agreements have made a palpable difference in some aspect of my life, one story shines above the rest because it is near and dear to my heart: my relationship with my husband. [Linda I.’s success story]
These Agreements helped me immensely in healing my relationship with my only sibling, my older sister. [Linda C’s success story]
The Revolutionary Agreements serve as a cornerstone of my life inviting me to live with greater peace, love, joy and integrity. The most powerful and challenging agreement for me is to honor my choices, thereby living without regret.
Kim is a Success Coach.
Revolutionary Agreements played a central role in building relationships and strengthening communication among my team members during the historic Soviet-American Citizens’ Summits that Soviet and Russian officials have hailed as turning points in ending cold war stereotypes.
Rama has been President of the Center for International Dialogue, Founder, Women of Vision in Action (WOVA), Co-founder, Yoga Journal.
For sample Team Agreements, click on sample agreements.
Marian here. I would like to start by sharing a bit about my own wellness journey — and the great results I’ve had along the way.
First, take a look at this photo of me BEFORE I knew how to be as healthy as I am today. I found this photo on my girlfriend’s refrigerator – YIKES!
Ok, granted I was out in the surf having fun, not all dolled up for this photo. But…
…here I am swimming at another friend’s pool after my weight loss. I lost two dress sizes in 10 weeks! My daily mantra was “It feels great to be an 8!” Ten weeks later when I dropped another dress size, my son said, “It’s the kicks to be a 6!”
But it’s not just slimming down that is important. It’s the whole health journey I began when I got pregnant at 39 years old, and made a decision to learn how to be as healthy as possible to support the new life growing inside me.
I’ve learned a great deal along the way, including how to:
- move my body to stay fit (without injuring myself)
- enjoy eating a huge variety of super healthy, low glycemic foods (that’s how I keep that extra weight OFF)
- easily drink plenty of water every day
- support my immune and endocrine systems with “intelligent supplementation.”
This photo was taken in the seventh decade of my life. I enjoyed the energy and vitality of a healthy 39-year old.
The best part is that I can help others to feel great, too.
I owe a great deal of gratitude to my friend, Marion, who introduced me to dietary supplements in 1995. Our family’s results alone would be plenty to show you the power of this real food supplement technology.
- increased energy
- easier breathing
- less feeling of hunger
- increased mental clarity
- stabilized bone density for 10 years
- no more monthly grouchiness
- even moods and greater sense of well being
- no sick days for our son for 7 years in public school!
Because we chose this same nutritional supplement supplier for our wellness business, we have hundreds of others’ wellness stories to share too. Best of all, we can support you in achieving the level of wellness you desire.
In addition to what we put in our bodies, our wellness has everything to do with what we put in our minds. Here’s what Maria, a wellness consultant for more than 25 years, says:
I cannot imagine anything more effective than the Revolutionary Agreements to help individuals discover how powerfully their attitude affects their wellness. [Maria’s success story]
In 1995, Marian and Gail, best friends since college days, started Leaders Network International in what Robert Kiyosaki calls “the business of the 21st century.” They chose the wellness industry, called “The Next Trillion Dollar Industry” by U.S Presidential economic advisor Paul Zane Pilzer, and quickly began making serious money by making a real difference in people’s lives. As a result, they were honored as one of the top 100 income earners of over 1/2 million independent associates for 7 years in a row.
The financial freedom they created had a profound impact on Gail’s life — and the lives of two orphaned children.
Marian’s husband Glenn later joined her to create their own wellness business and success story. Now their financial freedom enables them to live in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies in the summer and in the beauty of Kauai in the winter.
Best of all, their lives are enriched with the friendships of the many giving, positive-minded people they have met along the way. As with wellness, foundational to creating financial freedom is our attitude. Revolutionary Agreements can support you in having the positive, “can do” attitude that attracts the right partners, clients, customers. . . and prosperity.
My business is growing in the direction I want it to go, and I am attracting the type of clients with whom I truly want to work. [Lisa’s Success Story]
Stories of our financial successes are abundant. The real question is: are you? Visit our revolutionary finances page and contact us to explore whether a partnership in our social entrepreneurship venture is right for you.
Following are the complete stories which started at the top of this page. ————————————————————————————————————
Five years with this company and I was seriously wondering how long I would last under the present tumultuous conditions. My challenge was finding a workable solution that would inspire a small, non-performing core organization within our bigger corporation to re-engage and move forward.
I met with an internal consultant for some coaching. She gave me a copy of Revolutionary Agreements that I read and re-read over the weekend. By Monday I was energized and ready to recommit myself to take on the role of facilitating positive changes within this core organization.
I put up a poster of the Agreements outside my office and allowed people to notice and ask questions in their own space and time. I worked with one Agreement at a time, watching myself transform as I related to my colleagues in a different way. I discovered the power of Looking within when I react and Listening with my heart. It was nothing short of amazing. Management noticed a difference in me and their curiosity peaked about these twelve simple guidelines.
Soon the management team agreed to engage in a full-day team-building workshop facilitated by our consultant. Copies of the Revolutionary Agreements were provided as well as copies of other corporate agreements. We divided into two teams with each team writing their agreements on flip charts. At the end of the working session we came together, combined the charts and wordsmithed a draft of what became Our Foundation by which we agreed to live and work.
We have been functioning as a cohesive team with our new agreements for seven months now and to say that this core organization has turned itself around would be an understatement. I look back and remember upper management laughing at my one-year goal strategy. Back then, they did not know about the power of using the Agreements.
I can say that I am in love again with my career and assert that the Agreements are the best tools for stress reduction I have ever found.
At the time Dan shared his story with us, he was Director of Systems and Development at a major cable company, part time university professor and competitive cyclist.
Keep Things in Their Proper Perspective. I agree to create joy in my relationships, my work, my life, and to appreciate the humor in our daily lives.
Keep Commitments. I agree to only make commitments I am willing and able to keep. I will consider whether I have the authority, information, tools, time, and support to do what is being requested and will make certain my needs are heard and understood. I will re-negotiate commitments as appropriate and necessary.
Go For Excellence. I agree to support others and to be supported in participating at the highest level of excellence, enabling a positive internal and external customer experience.
Respect. I agree to treat others with mutual respect and professionalism. I will operate from a sense of cooperation, respect, caring and support in my interactions with others, understanding that goals are often the same although methods of accomplishing them may differ.
Appreciate My Contributions. I agree to take responsibility for acknowledging myself and receiving acknowledgement from others.
Express Appreciation for Others’ Contributions. I agree to acknowledge others and celebrate team accomplishments as well. I will work to create an environment that supports independent decision-making and risk-taking when appropriate.
Focus on the Future, Grow from Experience. I agree to let the past be the past and to work as a team for the future.
Seek Advice from Others. I agree to ask for advice from others and to listen to the advice that is offered.
Tell the Truth with Compassion and Candor. I agree to take the responsibility to communicate openly and honestly, focusing on the issue or behavior, not on the person.
Resolve Conflict Constructively. I agree to take problems, complaints, and upsets to the person(s) with whom I can resolve them, not to criticize or complain to colleagues who cannot do something about my complaint, and I will redirect others to do the same.
Be a rEvolutionary Leader. I agree to foster an environment of genuine collaboration, in which all people, including myself, feel empowered to express our individual and collective potential.
For more team agreements, click on sample agreements.
One of my business clients was concerned about losing productivity at work. At closer look, we discovered that the root of the problem was at home. His insistence that his wife support him by acting in ways he deemed “right” was draining his energy.
I suggested that he use the Agreement “to see the best in myself and others” and requested, “Why don’t you talk with your wife about only what she’s doing right for the next week?” He did so, and the result was nothing less than transformative. Both his relationship with his wife and his productivity at work experienced a dramatic turnaround.
Laurie is a psychotherapist, professional development coach and management consultant. She is the author of “What is the Emperor Wearing: Truth-Telling in Business Relationships.”
Melanie called. She’d found herself between a rock and a hard place and wanted my advice. Her dilemma revolved around whether she should pay a contractor whom she believed had not done as good a job as was expected. I found myself leaning toward her argument but resisted making a judgment.
Instead I listened with my heart. I refrained from giving her advice and gently guided the conversation to a place where Melanie was able to see and choose for herself the best option.
She chose to pay the agreed contract, seeing this as a better option than hiring expensive attorneys, spending time and energy she could be using elsewhere and creating a potentially adversarial relationship.
Irene called. She was having difficulty making a decision about renting to a physically disabled person. The state has certain legal requirements for landlords around equipping their apartments for renters with handicaps and she was not in a financial position to make those additions and changes. She felt pressured by her own ethics and a moral and compassionate desire to be helpful.
Once again I listened with my heart. I did not tell her directly what to do but suggested that she tell her own truth compassionately and trust the outcome. She called the prospective renter and shared honestly her predicament. She later told me that she was pleasantly surprised and relieved when the renter listened with complete understanding placing no blame on her.
Why are these stories significant for me? Normally, I would jump right into other people’s challenges and offer up my advice intending to “fix” their problems for them. People expect it of me and I always had more than one solution on the tip of my tongue. Listening deeply was a foreign concept to me.
Incorporating the Agreements into my daily life has freed me in ways I did not think possible. I have changed what doesn’t work. I no longer feel the need to carry and solve others’ problems; instead, by honoring their choices I encourage access to their own power.As I give the gift of heartfelt listening and love, it brings out the best in all of us.
My mission: To express God by loving as God loves and playing T.A.G. (Truth/Acceptance/Gratitude). Everyone wins.
Joe is a retired management consultant.
The Heartwood community in Bayfield, Colorado started as a dream for a handful of visionaries from Boulder, Colorado. We created a cohousing style “village” placing our 24 homes within a seven-acre area so we could steward the remaining 250 acres. We care for 70 acres of irrigated pasture, pinion, pine and ponderosa forests with sacred spaces, trails, and gardens. We are from all walks of life, all age groups, single and married, with and without children, and work both inside and outside the community.
Because our community is closely integrated on many levels, it is important that we operate from written agreements to which we all aspire. Our first model was based on the original agreements set forth by the Geneva Group many years ago, co-authored by Marian Head. As those Agreements have evolved into the Revolutionary Agreements, so have ours evolved to suit our unique needs.
New residents undergo training in how to operate with our agreements. Each meeting starts by reading the Agreements aloud, along with our Vision and Values statements, that remind us of why we have chosen to live together in this amazing community.
While all of the Agreements serve us in different ways at different times, there are two that consistently help me to keep my communications healthy within our close-knit community: “I agree to look within when I react” and “I agree to resolve conflicts directly.”
Since working with the Agreements, I notice I have fewer reactions to differing opinions, and am able to more quickly stop myself before laying blame on another. The Agreements remind me to look within for the source of my issue. Once I discover that source, my reaction usually dissipates. Then I can relax and respect the differences of the other or, if need be, express my truth about the matter at hand – with compassion.
Practicing these Agreements virtually eliminates negative gossip. And the benefits of more compassionate communication and deeper relationships are deeply gratifying.
The Agreements are the foundation and the reason our community is thriving. If all communities were to adopt or adapt these Agreements – families, neighborhoods, businesses, nations (why not?) – the world would be an even more wonderful place to live.
Gail operates a multi-million dollar home-based wellness business from the Heartwood Community in southwest Colorado. www.heartwoodcohousing.com email@example.com
To view the Heartwood Community Agreements, click on sample agreements.
One of my highest values in a job is working as part of a team. I took a job that seemed great, paid well and used my skills, but I worked totally alone. I rarely saw my boss let alone anyone else. As time went on I became more and more uncomfortable yet was not able to face the issue within myself.
One day my boss came in and suggested that I seemed unhappy and perhaps the position was not a fit for me. I was immediately fearful of losing my job and responded, “No, I AM happy here.” My boss gently suggested that I take some time to think about it.
I went home and reflected on what had happened. My boss was speaking my truth for me! The next day I called her and said, “You’re absolutely right, I’m not happy here.” We agreed to end the working relationship and she appreciated my honesty, raved about how much she enjoyed working with me and gave me flowers as a going away gift. I spent two weeks training my replacement and that was my happiest time there because I was working WITH someone. Now I have a job working with a team for a common goal and I love it!
I learned that speaking my truth with compassion is not just telling someone else but acknowledging the truth to myself.
At the time Carol shared this with us, she was conference coordinator for the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law.
About 10 years ago, I integrated the deep passion of my lifelong experience with my horses into my equally exciting leadership work with corporations. Because horses are emotional mirrors, they provide immediate visceral feedback, serving my clients to discover how their mindset, behaviors, actions and communication styles impact others.
When Marian’s book was published in 2005, I incorporated the Agreements into my executive retreats. As a result, my programs achieved even greater depth. We begin our intensive work together by creating a modified set of the Agreements from which we operate and communicate with each other over the course of the program.
The combination of Agreements and horse experiences facilitate many challenging breakthroughs and sometimes emotional “Ahas” by individuals and teams. My clients learn to create their reality based on respect and living in the now… and not on assumptions. Each retreat offers new learning for me. I am constantly amazed and gratified as I observe personal accountability and commitment reach new levels that sizzle with possibilities.
Amy facilitates senior executive teams in creating change that positively impacts their organization’s profitability, revenue potential and performance. Among her clients are GlaxoSmithKline, Alcoa, Dick’s Sporting Goods, American Eagle Outfitters and GE. www.unbridledperformance.com
When reading the Revolutionary Agreements, I realized how powerful these twelve simple principles are in guiding us to live a loving life. Had I agreed to listen with my heart earlier in life, I may have been able to give my daughter what she needed then to feel her daddy’s love. Now I consciously invite this agreement to guide me in all that I do and I enjoy the result: fulfilling relationships with family and friends.
Jordan is a professor, business consultant, motivational speaker and psychotherapist as well as noted author of six books, including the national best seller, Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?
All my work–with clients, staff and horses–is based on making agreements for working together. One of my women’s programs is a one-year commitment to multiple transformational retreats held at various locations across the country. This is a deep discovery process that provides an opportunity for learning and positive transformation that can occur when working through personal challenges.
I use two sets of agreements for these retreats: one for staff (coaches, facilitators and administration) and one for my clients to use as a working model to help develop their own agreements. Our agreements have made working together so much easier, with less struggle and difficulty among staff or with clients. In fact, using the Agreements saved us from losing a retreat participant.
One of our participants was experiencing a personal challenge with a particular facilitator. She was very frustrated and came to me to voice her complaint. I listened deeply and compassionately, allowing her to “vent” and dispel the heat from her argument. I drew her attention to the agreements she willingly signed at the beginning of the retreat. Eventually, she was ready to participate again and practice resolving her conflict directly (with the facilitator) by speaking her truth compassionately. The facilitator drew upon the agreements about listening deeply and honoring differences. As a result, there was no collusiveness or divisiveness, everything lightened up and our participant remained to finish the retreat. It was quite an empowering learning for all involved.
Melisa is a Life Coach, Equine Accelerated Learning Facilitator, author, entrepreneur, national speaker and Certified Gestalt Therapist. www.touchedbyahorse.com
Reading Marian’s book turned a light on in my heart and made me realize that I had not been in alignment with my true desire, which is to be an agent of peace. Leaving behind over 30 years of the familiar corporate world and stepping out into a vast unknown, I discovered a feeling I call “joyful terror.” I wanted to sustain myself spiritually as well as financially – only this time by doing something I love.
My strong spirituality plus the newly acquired tools I learned from Revolutionary Agreements bolstered my courage to recreate my destiny at 57. . . I am enjoying this new roller coaster ride and rejoice in the feeling of fulfillment that comes from doing what I love. By working with the Agreements in Truth, Acceptance and Gratitude I am becoming that agent of peace.
At the time of this writing, Ed was President of the Board of Directors of the Unity Church of Creative Living in Jacksonville, Florida.
Peggy: We love the down-to-earth stories Marian provides and the practical ways to apply the Agreements to everyday living. They are like code words or emotional and verbal shortcuts, supporting Bob and me to get to our “truths” much more quickly. They definitely keep us honest, providing a great touchstone for doing a quick self- check on everyday decision-making.
Bob: We are using the Agreements with success in our personal community of family, core friends and coaching clients, so why not go global? We recognized the simplicity and yet profound nature of these timeless tools as marvelous anchors in a world wrought by separateness and challenges and we set our sights higher and outward to reach a broader community. So now we dedicate an article in each of our monthly Birch Corner newsletters to one agreement and send it out to spread like Marian’s idea of wildflowers, seeding the planet with positive ideas for change.
Bob is an Executive and Life Coach. Peggy is a Family Therapist and Life Coach. www.birchcorner.com
I guess you could say I accomplished many firsts in my life. I was the first Latino, or person of color, to be invited to a private club in my community and the first Latino elected as Mayor Pro Tem. It was a humble inroad to bridging a huge multicultural rift in the community in which I lived. However, it was not until I read Revolutionary Agreements (for the third time) that I realized many of my motives for succeeding in the predominately white world were not always for the right reasons.
Why was I so intense on accomplishing and serving and “getting there”? It hit me, really hit me at the gut level, that I, like anyone else (no matter gender or color), desired acceptance for who I am. Which meant I had to accept me for who I am.
There I sat, a grown man, tears streaming down my face thinking, “Who I am is a Mexican-American trying to make a difference, make my people proud, yet pretending to be someone else so I could succeed in the white man’s world.” Well, I made it, but I did not always speak my truth, to myself or to others, and I was living with the differences but not always respecting or understanding them. I was serving on many boards and in every capacity I could, gaining the respect of many, but not necessarily experiencing the pure joy of it. I wanted people to see a Mexican-American who could do it not only bigger and better, but someone who could be a leader in their community. Notice I did not say our community? Now what?
As I sat feeling depressed, my eyes drifted down to the last Agreement, Lighten up! I suddenly laughed to myself thinking, “Oh, Marian, your Agreements have brought me full circle.” Rather than chastise myself for what I did not do, I acknowledged myself for all that I have done and was grateful for the ability to choose what I do next. And I choose to have fun working within OUR community, building avenues of better communication and understanding, honoring differences (or uniqueness) and bridging the gap of separateness that keeps us from wholeness.
I keep a poster of the Agreements in my office as a reminder of what is available to me every day and when people look at them and ask, “What are those, Dan?” I say, “Well, I am so glad you asked. Got a few minutes?”
Dan served as a member of Vice President Gore’s Regional NAFTA team for Colorado and the Colorado Council on Mexico. At the time he shared this story with us, he had served 8 years as a consultant on Mexican affairs to Tucker International, a worldwide multicultural cross-training company.
I own a rental property on the river in Estes Park, CO. When it is not rented I like to go there myself to enjoy the quiet beauty of the surroundings. Recently I invited a friend to join me for a weekend and we went up anticipating quiet walks, reading and good conversation. When I arrived I noticed that the owners of the property next door had a new tenant. There were lots of cars parked outside and it appeared there was a party in progress.
The evening wore on and instead of winding down, the party got even rowdier. When we retired for the night, we hoped the sounds of the river might drown out the noise next door. I chose the bedroom closest to the house next door hoping that my friend would have a better chance at quiet in the other room. At 2AM I awakened to party noise.
The next morning I asked my friend how she slept and she remarked “I was fine until about 2AM when I heard the party going on next door.” That did it. I decided I would call the owners of that house and let them know just what kind of tenant they had and the disturbance they were making. After all, I had my future tenants to think of and it could affect my rental business.
Ironically, I had just read Revolutionary Agreements, which I had shared with my friend over the weekend. Suddenly, the agreement, “I agree to resolve conflicts directly,” popped into my head. Hmmm. This was my opportunity. I walked next door, rang the doorbell and waited until a young man answered. He was slightly disheveled and looked like he’d been up all night, which was not surprising. I spoke my truth asking, “Is this what I can expect every night?” He was most apologetic replying that this was an unusual occurrence. They were celebrating the birthdays of three people and chose to have one big party. He assured me it would not happen again.
The agreements are valuable because they bring so many things into conscious awareness. Through the use of just one agreement, I was able to resolve this conflict directly, easily and amicably for both parties without unnecessarily involving the owners. I realized how often we tell others instead of speaking directly to those with whom we can resolve our issues, and am grateful for this positive experience of putting the Revolutionary Agreements into action.
Kathy is a retired real estate broker who is exploring life and all it has to offer. Among her interests are taking classes that are unusual and stimulating. One such class was an introductory program on Revolutionary Agreements.
At the age of 41, I decided to change careers and, coincidentally, so did my husband. He and I found ourselves in the middle of mid life crises. I was burned out teaching in the public school system, yet I still loved working with kids. My 51-year-old husband was exhausted as an overworked family physician, yet he was still committed to healing. Our relationship was definitely strained because we were redefining our missions in life. At an age when most couples are fairly settled, we were wondering just who and what we wanted to be when we grew up.
It was a fearful time and, in hindsight, a blessing in disguise because our communications, out of necessity, reached a depth that ultimately recreated our marriage. In choosing to change what was not working for each of us as individuals we ran the risk of losing each other. What if the choices we made sent each of us in a different direction? We spoke our truths like never before and we listened with new respect to the challenges and fears the other faced.
I found a niche for myself tutoring high school kids in writing. My husband created his own practice, much smaller and more manageable. He is able to get to know his patients and I am happier knowing I can make a difference with kids on a more intimate level. Together we manifested another mission, our most daring of all: we began the process of adopting a child from China and hope to have our little one by the end of the year.
The Agreements are a wonderful support system and work regardless of belief or religion. Now, in my early 40’s, I am to become a mother for the first time and am both nervous and excited. The Agreements will definitely be integral to my skills as a parent.
Jean has worked as a writer, editor, teacher and tutor.
While working with a woman new to our team on how to build a successful business, I inadvertently said something that offended her. Although I did not know what the issue was, I could definitely sense that something was amiss.
When I looked within at my own reactions I recognized some familiar questions that usually come up for me: “What did I do? “Have I hurt this person in some way?” “How do I fix it?” I called her to address it. As I listened with my heart I realized that this issue was not about me at all. She requested that I give her time to process and work through this issue on her own and she would call me when she had it resolved.
As much as I would have liked to have “fixed” the problem right then and there, I chose to honor her choice and to respect our differences. I tend to be aggressive in my style of communication while this woman is less so. My timing in building a business and my methods of dealing with conflict do not always coincide with others’ timing and methods.
I realized that I cannot “fix” anyone. Speaking my truth with compassion and listening deeply with my heart I was able to see the best in myself and in this lovely woman. I relaxed and allowed events to unfold naturally.
The woman called me soon after and we had a very enlightening conversation. Our personal and business relationship now has the foundation to move to a higher level. And there is an added blessing as I look forward to working together: she practices the Agreements as well.
Because it is so easy to understand and implement, Revolutionary Agreements has become a handbook for integrating my professional and personal life and I recommend it to my team to help them move forward into abundance and joy.
Judith is an entrepreneur. Her businesses have included art galleries, jewelry stores and businesses that focuses on health and growth of body, mind and spirit.
In my landscaping business I hire gardeners and outside contractors. One time I hired a gardener whose goal was to start her own business some day. To my dismay, I discovered that this woman was gardening for me with one hand and repeatedly using her cell phone with the other. I approached her, feeling clear and non-judgmental, and told her the simple truth.
I said, “While you work for me I request your commitment to be focused on this job and catch up on your personal business at lunch or breaks.” Apparently, this was just what she needed to hear to move her to a decision to step out and start her own business. Now she has her own employee challenges, and hires me to consult with her on landscaping.
Great relationships make successful businesses, and great relationships are based on the trust that comes from telling each other the truth, with compassion.
Dorothy is the owner of Spectacular Gardens Front Range.
Although all the Agreements are key ingredients to my life, “Resolve Conflicts Directly” partnered with “Speak My Truth With Compassion” remind me of two stories where using these Agreements created significantly better outcomes.
Story 1: My three sisters and I used to gossip quite a bit. It didn’t take me long to recognize the lack of integrity here and no one seemed inclined to address the issue directly with the target of these conversations. Finally, I simply refused to participate. Our youngest sister asked me about it and I told her truthfully, “I just can’t see how anything positive can come from gossiping behind someone’s back. If we aren’t willing to say the same things to her face, then we should not be saying them behind her back.”
Speaking my truth did not diminish my sisters’ love for me and they respected my position. As a result the “gossip fests” are mostly a thing of the past, especially when I am around.
Story 2: I used to expect my husband to “read my feelings.” I was more of a “people pleaser” and preferred to drop hints about what I wanted and rarely spoke directly to the issue. Both my husband and I came from similar backgrounds where showing anger or displeasure meant, “You don’t love me.” It took time to make the Agreements “Speak My Truth With Compassion” with “Resolve Conflicts Directly” a consistent component to our relationship and the results are well worth it.
Our marriage is stronger and more honest. Our relationship not only survives, it thrives because our communications are direct, truthful and respectful of each other’s point of view.
Sigrid is a teacher, counselor, wife, mother, grandmother and playwright. Children are truly her passion and she has written and directed numerous children’s musicals.
The Revolutionary Agreements have been especially significant for me in the past six months as I was recovering from illness and injuries and was compelled to take a fearless look at myself. In reading and doing the exercises, I was reminded of how important these principles have been in my life. One particularly poignant experience vividly expresses the value of listening with my heart.
As part of the Soviet Center for International Dialogue (created by my wife Rama in the mid 1980’s), we were called upon to facilitate communication for the positive growth and reintegration of transitional and sometimes adversarial communities in the Soviet Union. One such assignment called us to go abroad and work with delegations from Armenia and Azerbaijan. There was so much anger and pain that neither side was willing to meet and negotiations were at a standstill.
We began working with each group separately in their own territories, listening deeply with our hearts and gently facilitating the full expression of each person’s story and feelings about the Armenian and Azerbaijani conflict. Eventually, the two groups agreed to meet in the neutral territory of Georgia. In a large room we gathered around a table, the Armenians grouped on one side and the Azerbaijanis on the other. The air crackled with tension. Rama and I held this precious and fragile space as one of safety and possibility.
Eventually, an Azerbaijani man took the initiative and passionately poured his heart out. He spoke of walking hand-in-hand with his young son when accosted by a Red Army soldier who demanded to see his papers. Throwing his papers into the blood and gore on the street, the soldier forced the Azerbaijani to crawl on his hands and knees to retrieve them with his teeth. As he told us his story, he cried, lamenting that his son would always see him as weak because of losing face in that most humiliating moment.
The depth of this man’s pain permeated the silence in our room. Suddenly, an Armenian man from across the huge table got up from his chair, stretched his body across the table and reached out with his hand, fingers pointed toward the Azerbaijani. Choked with emotion, he said, “You sound just like me.”
In that moment the energy of the room shifted and people began, one-by-one, to share their personal stories, discovering that they had similar feelings, hopes and a deep desire for peace. As each participant felt truly heard, healing began and they could listen to each other more deeply. Ultimately, they began to see the best in themselves and each other (one of my favorite Revolutionary Agreements).
That night and for the next two days, former enemies who had never talked or touched each other became fast friends, shared meals together and made commitments to continue dialogue and work together on joint peace projects.
By practicing what we preach–over and over again–Rama and I evoke the Law of Positive Attraction, and it has netted many rewards. Among those is the gift of twelve wonderful tools called the Revolutionary Agreements, which have helped me to reassert my life plan, mission and goals for my physical well-being, work and life.
Max is Vice-President of the Center for International Dialogue, Unity minister, and counselor/coach for communities in transition worldwide (businesses, families and churches).
I contacted Hans de Waard of the Netherlands, who had developed a new technique for releasing the past, called The Jacket Technique®. During the phone call, I learned that he had never visited the U.S. He asked, “Would you be willing to be my American contact and help me get started in the U.S.?” After successfully sampling his technique long distance, I agreed to work with Hans and began a partnership that eventually launched the first U.S. workshop in Tucson.
Throughout this experience, challenges presented themselves while working with a European teacher who spoke a different native language. We had conflicting ideas on how to best organize a workshop for an American audience. I had many opportunities to practice the Agreements — especially “looking within when I react,” “respecting our differences” and “listening with my heart.” I recognized we had similar goals, but different visions of how to get there. I continued to look within and found a way to create a place of mutual respect that met both of our needs.
This experience has provided tremendous growth for me, having recently completed the practitioner training; and I am enjoying assisting others with this remarkable healing method. I am grateful to Hans, and especially grateful for my practice of the Agreements which have become such a huge part of my life, enabling me to truly live my mission.
Kalama is an MSW, Reiki Master, and faculty consultant at the University of Arizona for the Associate Fellow Program in Integrative Medicine. http://kalama5.byregion.net
With Free The Heart I was able to finally allow my father to rest in peace and forgive the intolerable abuse that, as a child, I suffered at his hands. In the book, Revolutionary Agreements, I discovered the perfect complement to furthering the work I am doing. Recently, it provided the tools I needed to change a personally demeaning relationship at work.
In our office there’s a coworker I thought of as “The Office Bully.” He could be verbally abusive and his temper rose at the slightest provocation. This would resurrect my old fears and memories of the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father and I would immediately retreat.
I never had the courage to deal with it directly until one night when he called, obviously drunk, and shouted all sorts of abuse and accusations at me for no valid reason. Rather than react and take it personally, I decided to step up and resolve this conflict directly.
I said, “I don’t deserve this kind of abuse and I won’t talk to you while you’re drunk. When you’re sober and calm and want to talk rationally, then you can call me.”
I was pleasantly surprised when the man did contact me the next day and apologized for being drunk and abusive. I could have let it go at that, but I decided it was time to speak my truth if we were to have a decent working relationship. I discussed honestly and calmly what wasn’t working in the office and our business relationship and suggested some ways we could change it for the better. He actually listened and thanked me for sharing. Our relationship is much more constructive and, even though we do not always agree, we have created greater respect for each other’s point of view.
Incorporating the twelve Agreements into my work as a practitioner and volunteer, I am further empowered to fulfill my life’s purpose: to empower greatness by teaching and healing others through being an instrument of God’s Grace.
When Bill shared this story with us, he was a practitioner with the Church of Religious Science in Ventura, CA and a volunteer with Free The Heart, an organization providing workshops that guide participants to free themselves from and forgive past traumas and issues that prevent them from living full and joyous lives. www.freetheheart.com
I have designed and facilitated corporate team-building, leadership development and stress management workshops for years using the first version of the Revolutionary Agreements, developed in 1985. When these Agreements are practiced diligently, people can be more proactive and less reactive to the daily challenges inside and outside the work environment. Once we learn to communicate more effectively and manage our stressors, we are able to tap into a vast knowledge that is available to each of us; and we can express that knowing from a more powerful place. Multiply that by a whole team operating together from such a place and the possibilities are limitless.
I am well aware that most participants come to my team-building sessions initially because management decrees they must. My job is to involve them in a simulation that morphs a group of colleagues into a cohesive team. In a half- to full-day process I present each with sample agreements created by other teams with whom I have worked, along with both the initial and latest versions of the Revolutionary Agreements. With these guides the team re-creates itself while discovering and demonstrating its teaming abilities.
Working closely together, participants support each other in tearing down individual barriers and creating an item of focus such as integrity, respect, managing conflict, teamwork or making the workplace a place of fun (Lighten Up!). Ultimately, they design and draft a new set of agreements from which they will not only operate but for which they will hold themselves and each other accountable. Pride and a sense of accomplishment result from taking ownership for this process. The tremendous positive energy generated by the end of our time together is not only deeply satisfying, it inspires me to take this work to others.
Each participant is given a copy of the Revolutionary Agreements book at the end of the session to help them reinforce the power of following agreements in their lives, both inside and outside of work.
As the successful teams grow in numbers, positive change occurs naturally around them. People who have engaged in the process demonstrate their success as they “become the change” they want to see.
My mission is simple: to be of service, to create value for others and to be part of a positive cultural change, one person at a time. I firmly believe that change begins with me, and to that means and end, I continue to practice the Agreements to which I was introduced over 20 years ago.
Below are six agreements designed recently by two of the teams with whom I worked.
Operate with Integrity
In telling my truth with compassion for myself and others, I will conduct daily business with honesty, integrity, and dignity, knowing that my actions reflect on the Team and the Company.
I agree to keep things in perspective, achieve results, and have fun.
Keep Commitments to Each Other and Our Customers
I agree to only make commitments I am willing and able to keep. I will consider whether I have the authority, information, tools, time, and support to do what is being requested and will make certain my needs and others’ are heard and understood. I will re-negotiate commitments as appropriate and necessary.
I agree to build upon my strengths and seek the knowledge, expertise, and best practices of others as appropriate.
I agree to treat others with mutual respect and professionalism. I will operate from a sense of cooperation, respect, caring, and support in my interactions with others, understanding that goals are often the same although methods of accomplishing them may differ.
I agree to co-create solutions to resolve problems constructively at the earliest opportunity.
To view more team agreements, click on sample agreements.
Joanne has thirty years combined experience in coaching, consulting, facilitation and professional speaking. For more than fifteen years, she has internally directed and managed her teams to focus on successfully supporting strategic and tactical corporate initiatives.
My life is about constant change. Ironically, “constant” and “change” seem odd together, yet change is the only constant I know in this world. Although born in Belgium, I completed my Ph.D. at Stanford and settled into the relative comfort of academia for many years. Then I got the itch to make a radical shift and moved to France involving myself in technological research for the next five years where I learned to enjoy change, not resist it. The principles behind the Revolutionary Agreements served me well.
Returning to the states I found that the job I thought was waiting for me at Stanford was gone. Instead of succumbing to a feeling of defeat, I looked for the blessing in disguise. Eventually, my blessing revealed itself in a new and exciting business opportunity AND introduced me to the man who would become the love of my life. This man not only shared a vision similar to mine, he brought with him two precious gifts, his young daughters. Suddenly, I was a stepmother. Another MAJOR change! Practicing my three L’s (listen, love and lighten up) was essential to my newest and most challenging opportunity. Lacing that liberally with respect for each other and always speaking our truth created a family relationship that, almost 8 years later, is strong and mature. Four more Agreements have served me well.
My husband, Chris, and I co-founded the Gabriel Media Group (GMG) because of our shared vision: global prosperity through a philanthropic philosophy. As the new Editor-in-Chief and spokeswoman for GMG, I am facing yet another change and opportunity to expand: public speaking. Because of my strong accent, I wonder if my English-speaking audiences will understand me; then I remind myself that this is just another exciting adventure in living my mission and I forge ahead.
The Revolutionary Agreements are a powerful guide for dealing with the constant changes in my life, empowering me to live the truth of who I am, to accept others for who they are, and to feel deep gratitude for the opportunities that continue to unfold in my miraculous life in this wonderful country.
Josephine is an educator, researcher, translator, and Editor-in-Chief of Gabriel Media Group’s Networking Times, the premier journal for professional networkers. www.networkingtimes.com
I took Revolutionary Agreements to Hawaii prior to interviewing Marian on my TV show. Reading the book, however, became so much more than preparation for an interview. Although all the Agreements impacted me, two of them jumped out as particularly relevant. “Speak my truth with compassion” and “Resolve conflicts directly” struck a chord deep within me that brought up childhood memories.
I was reared in an environment in which my parents’ authority was the rule. There was not much encouragement for the expression of my thoughts and feelings. I tended to be silent and avoid conflict in order to not rock the boat.
Recently, I put both of these Agreements to the test by speaking my truth to someone with whom I had an issue but was uncomfortable addressing it. Speaking my truth with the element of compassion added the integrity that allows this process to work even when both parties do not agree.
The result: freedom. I now allow myself the freedom to speak, respecting both myself and the other person. I speak confidently about my feelings without fearing a reaction and issues are no longer bottled up inside me. The Agreements reaffirm that I have many options on how I handle conflict. I have unlimited choices, I don’t take things personally and I allow myself respect while offering that same opportunity to others.
I feel much lighter and notice daily how the Agreements integrate into my life. In my personal copy of Revolutionary Agreements, I note where an Agreement is mentioned in the Bible. For instance, Matthew 18:15 describes “Resolve conflicts directly”: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.”
Another Agreement that is significant for me is “I Agree to Live My Mission.” I am here as an “encourager,” one who supports people to reconnect with their creative spirit that will permeate all parts of their lives making work, play and home more rewarding. My mission is important to me and living it daily fulfills me.
Revolutionary Agreements is a timeless treasure.
Susie is the author of the award-winning book, Who Lives in Your Backyard? Creating a Journal That Opens Your Eyes and Heart to Nature’s Nearby Wonders. At the time she shared this story, she was host of a cable TV show called What’s Your Story?
When I think of the many examples of how the Agreements have made a palpable difference in some aspect of my life, one story shines above the rest because it is near and dear to my heart: my relationship with my husband.
For some time we had been having numerous and silly little arguments. I found that I was always nit picking over something and it was slowly chipping away at our relationship. As I sat back and looked within at my reactions I was startled at what I discovered. A lot of how I was reacting to my husband was founded in my relationship to my dad. As a child I was quite intimidated by him. His bitter attitude about life in general overflowed onto me and I could not understand his harshness. I carried this resentment with me into adulthood and marriage.
When Dad was recently hospitalized I had an opportunity to see the dynamics of his behavior through more mature eyes. Visiting him in the hospital and listening to him with an open heart I could see for the first time why he was the way he was and I was able to let go of the past. I no longer took personally some of his comments and was able to actually love him for who he was, knowing that he was doing the best he could with what he had.
This was incredibly liberating and empowering for me. I shared my insights with my husband and noticed that my little nit picking issues just melted away.
It is amazing the differences these simple Agreements can make when I take just a few moments to become consciously aware of them throughout my day. There is always something to be grateful for; there is always some good to be seen in another; there is always some choice to be consciously made; and, my favorite: there is always room to Lighten Up.
Linda I. has owned and operated a bed and breakfast, a holistic nutrition company, a wellness center and spa, and a state certified holistic learning center.
I have been practicing the Agreements in some form since 1990 when I was first introduced to them. In my coaching practice, I assist my clients in developing their capacity to respect differences and honor choices. In my experience, these two very powerful Agreements are key to almost any challenge life has to offer. Invariably, they help us to lighten up and open to a flow of joy.
In my personal life these Agreements helped me immensely in healing my relationship with my only sibling, my older sister. During early childhood, we often had fun and, like all siblings, conflict. I viewed my sister as the powerful one, both physically and mentally; I often felt weak and disempowered. To further strain our tenuous relationship, as we grew older, we found ourselves on opposing sides of the political fence.
“Respecting our Differences” and “Lighten Up” were vital to healing my relationship with my sister. The key was to feel comfortable with who I am while allowing her to be herself (truth and acceptance). It was a slow process with constant reminders along the way to lighten up… and it has paid off.
My mission, at this time, is to live my life in joy, delight, and gratitude. I am now grateful to be living that mission more fully in my relationships with family and friends, and in my coaching work.
Linda C is a mother and life coach. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver and is a graduate of Naropa University’s Authentic Leadership and Advanced Coaching Program. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our patent-pending Ultimate Wellness Program™ helps corporations and other large groups solve the problem of increasingly costly employee health benefits. By helping employees master simple keys to the five fundamentals of ultimate wellness, we reduce the high cost of employee sickness and promote greater productivity and well-being. Those five fundamentals include having a healthy attitude, practicing healthy breathing, drinking healthy water, eating healthy nutrition and enjoying healthy movement.
The Revolutionary Agreements go straight to the heart of a healthy attitude. I cannot imagine anything more effective than the Revolutionary Agreements to help individuals discover how powerfully their attitude affects their wellness. With Marian’s consent, we are creating online modules with learning assignments incorporating five of the Agreements that are particularly relevant to the workplace: “I agree to keep doing what works and change what doesn’t,” “to give and receive thanks,” “to respect our differences,” “to resolve conflicts directly.” and “to see the best in myself and others.”
We are grateful to be playing a part in helping our country find a way through the current health care crisis. We believe we have a solution that will help people make good choices so they can live into their fullest potential of wellbeing, both physically and mentally. The Revolutionary Agreements are an immensely valuable part of manifesting this dream.
Maria has been a wellness consultant to individuals for more than 25 years, and a life coach. Her vocation is finding solutions that empower individuals to reach their fullest potential.
Lisa had been experiencing some recurring communication issues with a colleague that had developed into a contentious relationship and was impacting the entire work environment.
As I sat and thought about this experience, I took out the Agreements and assessed the situation and my reaction to it. Did I want my relationship with this person to be one of conflict or one of acceptance, gratitude, and compassion? I realized that I wanted this situation to be different. I also realized that I had a choice and that I could make the decision to live by the Agreements in my business life.
The next time I met with my colleague I chose to see her as someone with skill, competence, and spirit; and as a partner, not an adversary. The commitment to see only the best in her transformed my body language, choice of words, tone of voice and energy. The result was an incredible feeling of mutual understanding and respect and the conflict simply fell away.
As I continue to apply the Agreements to my business, I have discovered that I am able to be more present with my clients’ requests and have greater clarity in making decisions. My business is growing in the direction I want it to go, and I am attracting the type of clients with whom I truly want to work.
The truth is, these twelve Revolutionary Agreements have infused my relationship with myself and therefore, my relationship with everyone and everything.
Lisa is a writer/editor, marketing and public relations specialist.
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