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Fiona Cram wrote this blog post; a reflection on the ‘rules’ for the workshop that helped guide the women attending through a rediscovery of the foundations of leadership.   
How often have you been in a retreat or other meeting when the facilitator has sparked a discussion of the 'rules'. These rules are inevitably something to do with the Chatham House - something I've always associated, for some unknown reason, with boxing.
I've just come back from a Women in Philanthropy leadership retreat organised by Philanthropy New Zealand and the Centre for Social Impact. The facilitators, Akaya Windwood from the Rockwood Leadership Institute and Louise Marra from Spirited Leadership, introduced us to Agreements. (At an earlier occasion Akaya had mentioned that if they were called 'rules' she immediately went to a place of thinking about how to break them - so Agreements it was.)
We had 8 Agreements for this leadership retreat.
Listen / speak from heart
We agreed to listen attentively and truly and, when we spoke, to speak authentically from our heart. This is more difficult than you might imagine. While some of us are great listeners and some of us are great talkers, we all need to balance both parts of ourselves so that we can take part in real engagement and sharing. I've heard this real engagement and sharing described as whitiwhiti kōrero and also as mutual thinking. Both terms are about us coming together to gather our thoughts, share ourselves, and learn about each other.
Practice spontaneity
When we are truly listening we don't have the opportunity to rehearse what we will say when it's our turn to speak. This means we have to be open to speaking and acting in a way that is spontaneous and more connected with our true self. This can be challenging when we're so used to being in places and spaces where we have to guard our true self and keep it tucked away from inspection by others. In stepping in to this agreement we are promising to be that safe place for each other. This extends beyond speaking to holding safe spontaneous dance, song, tears, and remembrances. So we agreed to practice spontaneity.
Read the rest of the blog entry.