Same Page or Status Quo?


My choice. Your choice. Our choice

Getting on the same page with ourselves is a simple choice and requires nothing but an  investment of our time to ask, reflect, and answer a few real questions. Cultivating this habit— in both good and bad times—can present a challenge. Do it anyway! 

Why? Because you’ll build a foundation to build on during the bad times and it’s a prerequisite  to getting on the same real page with others. 

Wait for it … but I already know how I feel about that difficult situation and what they should do  to get on the same page with me. Really? You know what they should do? Parents and  managers aside, how certain are you that if they change, it will make the situation better? And if it doesn’t, then what?  

The fact is that you can only know and control what you can do to get on the same page. You  can access your position, values , and thoughts regarding the situation. You can ask them to  do the same and if they do, then you both can co-produce a same page document that  represents a best next step. 

Simple. Not Easy.  

Sounds simple, right? It turns out that the phrase, “We need to get on the same page,” is a directive and not an invitation. It implies that you should get on the same page with me. The  alternative invitation is, “We should get on the same page.” It’s not just semantics. Additionally,  it might be difficult to ascertain if an invitation is sincere. 

News Flash: Not everyone actually wants to get on the same page—observe those who are telling you all the reasons it won’t work or advocating their position instead of asking you to expand on your thought or idea (they’ll eventually ask—in surprise—after you leave the company or relationship). 

Status Quo  

The state of things, the way things are, as opposed to the way they could be, the existing state of affairs. 

“The relationship status quo is what most people are in when their relationships are not perfect, but they have no idea how to make it better. But both parties are still willing to  make it work.” 

Consider Reality and Options: It’s Time to Make the Relationship Status Quo Great  Again | by Alejandro Betancourt | Bottomline Talks | Medium  

What happens if we are willing to make it better but take no action? We’re all busy; I’ll get to it  tomorrow; it’ll eventually work itself out—as it always does… 

Consider that a court order of status quo is an interim order that directs the parties involved to maintain the existing state of affairs or the current position of a property or matter until further determination by the court. › issue › or…

This is what happens—personally and professionally —when we don’t make the time to get on the same page. Too dramatic, you say? 

Search the internet yourself for current bankruptcy rates, divorce rates, business failure rates, etc. We posit that in many of the above examples, the two parties were not on the same page: professional and personal partners, stakeholders and employees, schools and students, businesses and customers.  

In professional and personal relationships relying on “status quo” rarely works,” and with time  what was the “status quo” can grow into difference, indifference, or distance, becoming a  dramatic change that all too often thwarts partnerships and ends professional or personal  relationships that otherwise might survive and thrive. 

Same Page Partnership 

Intention alone isn’t usually enough to get on the same page. Here’s a better description: 

“A partnership is any relationship in which two or more people are equally committed to the success of their work together and intentionally strive to demonstrate trust and respect for one another. Partnerships occur in every area of human interaction and across multiple levels of social and financial status.”  

… and neither party needs to be in total control to achieve success.  

Slow Down To Reach A Sustainable Resolution 

Regardless of the approach utilized, it’s important that all parties slow down their propensity to  quickly solve the situation.  

Slow down to consider the situation from a broader perspective; review everyone’s positions as currently stated; reflect on organizational core values; consider resources available to call or count on; allow all reasonable strategies and related real questions to be articulated. 

Next, the structured approach used to get on the same page needs to capture and  counterbalance all components of the situation—with input from all parties involved—to best  understand and resolve the situation. Focusing on the charged emotional energy of the  situation, without counter-balancing it with values that matter most, will drastically limit  potential viable solutions. 

The Ability To Shift Positions Matters Greatly As We Maintain Our Organization’s Integrity 

Starting with an optimistic business plan and a same page mindset is great. However, when difficult, staffing or financial. times emerge, “Maintain the status quo!” can become the new  rallying cry, leaving behind previously successful core values and management styles that emphasized: 

Agency vs. Advocating 

Curiosity vs Blame 

Co-Producing vs Competing 

Sharing vs. Defending 

Compassion vs Cause 

Ask vs. But 

Affirming vs Anticipating

Any “Status Quo” Arrangement Is A Temporary Situation  

Individuals, families, and organizations must constantly adjust to both positive and negative changes in the world around them. Committing and contributing to same-page partnerships make possible the long-term benefits of positive changes, which far outweigh the short-term pain of necessary adjustments to unforeseen and unwelcome events. 

If Good Leadership is about Asking Good Questions, then Great Leadership is about Asking  Great Real Questions. 

Make—and take—the time to slow down, actively listen and explore each others’ positions,  collaborate on resources available, and co-create a same page partnership. Experience a new dialogue with people that matter most, identify joint best next steps and watch your most important partnerships grow exponentially. 


Simple. Not Easy offers an accessible and scalable CoreSelf Framework to get on the same page with yourself and others. Workshops are available for organizations of all sizes and individuals. And, CoreSelf Positioning: 8 Steps that Refine Our Current Position and Identify Our Best Next Step will be available in bookstores soon.