Week 2 Cohort 3 Practical Self Management Intensive

Project 3 Social Contract

This week we learned about the social contract. I find it to be a very useful tool to set the ground rules for effective collaboration in a team. Because its something that is created by the team members, not imposed by the boss, I am sure it can be much more effective than a traditional working contract. In the case of Mexico, by law we need to have traditional working contracts, but even so I’m sure it can be a very good compliment.

I really enjoyed the interview with Joshua Vial and loved when he said that he doesn’t use traditional contracts because he doesn’t want to have people forced to work in his team. If someone wants to leave they should be able to do so. But if someone wants to stay and they co-create a social contract, it empowers the members of the team, but also shares the responsibility and commitment.

In Taonga team we had a lot of discussions about the issues we wanted to address, choosing the right words, and I was very happy with the result. Afterwards we recorded a short video which could be much better but was not too bad. Here is the result of our work:

We care, share and trust

We care for — and support — each other

Talk with the person not about the person
We foster trust and safety: We only speak positively about persons not present in the room
Team members collaborate and support each others’ growth

Right to full information and clarity

We all strive to make our mutual expectations clear.
All issues raised in the team will be handled with respect.
Team members will share useful information.

Be there fully as a human being

Mental and emotional presence is important in personal contact and team meetings
We are empathetic and truthful with ourselves and others

We work efficiently

We all make every possible effort to be on time for meetings and notify others if the situation makes this impossible.
We are actively and respectfully listening to each other.
We make our points in a short and concise manner.
We honour our commitments and respect deadlines

It’s good to have bad ideas

Errors can be a source of development; we celebrate our mistakes.
We readily accept, share and discuss our mistakes to grow as a team.


Everyone has the responsibility and obligation to speak up if they experience breach to the social contract and to engage the team in a discussion about this.

Emotion, energy and our responsibility

Emotions are welcome and addressed responsibly in the team.
We ‘own’ our behaviour the best we can — even if we have strong impulses we consider how we act on our feelings
Team members are invited to be honest about their energy.
We are specific when we give feedback — also of emotional nature

Review Clause

We will review this social contract every 6 months or on the request of a team member.

Project 4 Colleague Letter of Understanding

I enrolled in this course because I feel that I need more skills to be the best possible leader I can be and really offer my best to facilitate and empower the people who work with me in all the different projects I’m involved. I have no background in management, in part because I was never attracted to the traditional management point of view. And the more I learn and understand about self management, the more I believe this is the future of organizations and the only way to have truly effective management.

I expect from this course to really get a taste of what self management is, what does it taste like, how do you eat it, etc. Up to now I’m finding it VERY useful. Each week we learn a new tool, not only in theory, but we put it into practice and hear from someone in the real world who is using it and we get to hear about their experience, challenges and ask questions. So it has exceeded my expectation.

I feel that I have a huge challenge in front of me in trying to implement self management in our organization. I am encountering resistance from the managers and supervisors and even from my self. I believe that in a small group of highly educated people getting together to build a new start up is the best way to go. But in a 15 year old organization which is part of a bigger company who we bought the franchises from, that they are very successful but very traditional, with 150 people in our team most of which have a very basic education, it seems to be almost a mission impossible. But I am inspired and committed to experiment and try many different strategies to slowly transform the relationship between the team members and therefore the organization as such. In case we have some degree of success in this task, I would be happy to share any success stories or mistakes to benefit and inspire other leaders and other organizations.

I also hope that through my participation in this course and bringing my particular context and background can be useful and some how enrich the rest of the groups experience throughout the course.

The course has been great and I’ve been able to meet wonderful people here from which I’m also learning a lot. It would be really good if I could connect with someone else from a latin american country who has implemented self management in a latin american organization, because I think many challenges and difficulties will be different in different cultures.