Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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The Meeting of the Minds – Part I


The meeting of the minds takes more than saying yes and exchanging a firm handshake.

Last week, we wrapped up our exploration of rejection reasons in Partnering: The Antidote to Division – BLOG – www.akesatia.comThrough this, we unveiled that partnering is the antidote to division and a doorway to creation, as it allows two to become better than one and enables co-creation.
But what facilitates partnering?  – Partnering is based on agreement, often begins in words, and action follows. When in agreement, humans can construct a winter palace from a brick and cultivate a botanical garden from a seed. Undoubtedly, agreement, aka a meeting of the minds, is potent!

I learned this lesson from a young age whenever I bickered with my older sister, AT. To assert my rightful position of worthiness and equity as a fierce ten-year-old, I referred to our age gap as a “technicality.” – Prompting my mom to remind me that a 2+ year age gap is not insignificant and, therefore, not a technicality. However, this did not deter me from quarreling with AT over life-altering matters like which of us deserved the last piece of warm pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) – an all-time fave!! When this happened, my mom put her degree in Psychology and Ph.D. in Education to good use with a savvy unification-parenting tactic. 😊

We need each other!

When AT and I went at it, my mom did not ask us to stop fussing, split up, and go to separate corners of the house. Instead, she discussed the contention issue with us, allowing each person to say their piece, and then gave us feedback – meticulously highlighting beneficial behaviors without siding with one person! Then, she sent us on a mission, usually an activity requiring us to work together, such as reorganizing a part of the house we both cared about. – This tactic is golden, but I did not see the brilliance until I was older: My mom knew that the best way to mend our divide was to give us a mutually beneficial reason to cooperate: To get what we wanted, we would learn to value what each other contributed and partner. Essentially, we would see the need and value of each other and of reaching an agreement.

Expectedly, the power of agreement to unify and enable progress also applies to business, where legendary partnerships abound!

Legendary partnerships

Most of us can quickly ramble on a list of great duos and combos. – Flavorful treasures like sweet and sour sauce or sugary favorites like chocolate and vanilla ice cream. And in entertainment, we might think of TV couples like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, who provided non-stop hilarity in the 1950s via their sitcom I Love Lucy.
Then, when we segue to the business world, there are many distinct cases where partnering enabled many to scale new heights, often leading them to be more known for what they accomplished together than individually. – This includes notable brands like Hewlett-Packard, founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, and Ben and Jerry’s, founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

When you reflect on the strong relationships in your life, I bet a pivotal quality is that you both know how to reach and keep an agreement. But what signals agreement?

The irrefutable need for agreement

In the West, we generally regard the word, yes, followed by John Hancock on the dotted line, as a sign of agreement. But we might wonder or worry: Is yes and a signature sufficient? Or is more needed?
After a conversation with a prospective client, an organizational leader may wonder… I think the meeting went well, and they seemed pleased with the information I provided. But will they sign the deal with us?
And a people leader might think… I hope my team is on board with our 18-month business plan, as we cannot meet our goals without them! They are physically present, but are their hearts with me? Are they truly committed?
Knowing what constitutes agreement and how to detect it is invaluable for a leader.

What is agreement?

Detecting agreement, aka the meeting of minds, is more of an art than a science.
As we all know, most communication is non-verbal. Furthermore, many of us have been flabbergasted and embarrassed to learn what we thought was agreement was, in fact, a denial or ambivalence. As a result, differentiating between an agreement, acknowledgment, or contemplation is critical. Fortunately, many have explored this topic and made some astute findings. Rather than waxing philosophical, let us consider what they uncovered. According to the Cornell Law School, here is the definition and some characteristics of agreement:
– Agreement is a manifestation of mutual assent by two or more persons to one another.
– Agreement is a meeting of the minds in a common intention.
– Agreement is made through offer and acceptance.
– Agreement is conveyed in words, conduct, or silence

The above findings are insightful, but more is required to grasp the meaning of agreement! To enable this, next time, we will learn from a company that one might refer to as America’s favorite warehouse! I look forward to going down this path with you. In the meantime, do you know which company we are referring to? 😊

Until next time! 

For you and to you,



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