Why are agreements so important for anyone you collaborate with on a retreat?
Let’s face it. It sucks having to give someone that you are truly excited to work with a document that outlines terms, conditions, boundaries, expectations and compensations. But the thing is, they are necessary. Learn from my mistake of not issuing them initially – you will experience uncomfortable situations later on while trying to backpedal where you should have had something clearly outlined previously. While these situations are still a possibility because we cannot foresee every possible outcome, at least you will eliminate a number of possibly difficult situations by outlining expectations and “what-ifs.” If expectations aren’t clear, it is easy to be upset by not having them met. But the thing is, if you didn’t make your expectations clear, you have no right to be upset. These agreements are in place to make expectations and boundaries CLEAR so that you can go into your retreat prepared, well communicated and ready to make magic happen.
Agreements also present you as being well prepared and professional so even though they can be slightly uncomfortable, you will be taken more seriously by everyone you work with. These agreements, whether drawn up by a lawyer or by yourself will add a layer of protection as well should any negative unforeseeable situation arise.
At the end of the day, this retreat experience is about your participants and their transformation – if you haven’t set clear boundaries and expectations for your team, your participants won’t walk away with the best possible experience. Every emotion has a vibration and energy and if there is anger or disappointment brewing amongst the team because of unclear expectations not being met, then your participants will pick up on it and the energy of the retreat will resonate with that. Do the hard work up front so that you and your team can be the best versions of yourselves and emit the highest frequencies of energy during your retreat so that your participants can walk away with the highest quality experience.
Best practice is to have a lawyer draft your agreement for you or to have a lawyer review one that you have drafted yourself to ensure you have covered all of your bases.