In our everyday interactions with people, we often carry a lot of expectations from each other. These expectations are often one sided, unspoken and not understood by the other. And as a result, it often leads to disappointments, betrayals, and resentments. This mode of operation often is a result of an outdated command and control style of leadership. This is an important mindset shift toward conscious leadership.

Expectations versus Agreements

What if we could drop all our expectations and lead our lives by agreements instead. Agreements by design are collaborative and creative in nature. Agreements take into account the needs and wants of both sides, encouraging clarity and understanding, which then leads to a sense of ownership and accountability. With that mindset, we can choose to turn all of our expectations, complaints or frustrations into requests which can then be turned into agreements through creative, collaborative conversations.

Turning complains to requests

The first step in the process is to turn complains into requests. It involves communicating what is not working and expressing its impact and why it needs to be addressed. It is important to stay true to your feelings, and at the same time not projecting or blaming the other. Then come up and express your request – your proposed win-win solution that addresses the underlying issue. The critical element in this conversation is conscious listening. It is important to be able to shift your perspective, to be able to see the world through other people’s eyes. To listen in order to expand your horizons in order to learn something new, not to always defend your stance.

Establishing an agreement

Then comes the creative collaboration part toward coming up with an agreement that is clear and understood by both sides. Understanding each other’s needs and desires, it is critical so realize that it is not about who is right or wrong. It is about being able to work side-by-side to resolve the issue at hand. Lot of times we get locked into our way of thinking, defending and protecting our way of doing things, that we totally miss the power and gift of creative collaboration.

Maintaining the agreement

The nature of an agreement is that it is two sided, so it needs to be nurtured and cared for by both parties. Both sides need to help and support each other in order to make the agreement work. There is a mutual accountability here. And if something unforeseen happens along the way, it is important for either party to bring it up as soon as possible to express the risk of not keeping the agreement, and when necessary, revise and recommit to a new agreement.

About Nader:

Nader is an Executive Coach, entrepreneur, and author based in Silicon Valley, California. His mission is to transform and elevate the lives of business leaders and high achievers to live on purpose and make a positive impact in the world. Nader was the founder and CEO of AuroraNetics which was acquired by Cisco, and has over 35 years of experience in executive roles in public and private companies. He served as an adjunct professor at Palo Alto University, Business Psychology program. He is an author, speaker, workshop leader, award winning musician, and energy medicine practitioner. His approach emphasizes conscious leadership principles and a holistic view of leading a life of joy, impact, and abundance.


To learn more, or to help integrate these practices into your life, please contact Nader or visit