Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cormerstones for Cooperation

In 1993 I helped establish a charitable organization of photographers, journalists and other community members called PICTURE THIS Projects. It is still kicking, still encouraging creative expression and self-esteem and helping bridge the gap between people of different backgrounds through a variety of photography projects. I'll share stories soon about a big project we did 10 years ago in Evanston.

During our first year, some of our foremothers crafted these guidelines. They serve as our "rules". It helps set expectations of conduct within the group. It describes what is commonly thought of as appropriate ways of working together productively. Both the kids and coaches involved in cerrtain project are asked to sign the pledge.

I'm sharing here as food for thought and in case others might find them useful.

A Team Member's "Pledge to my Peers"

We are colleagues with a common vision and mission. I will trust you and depend on you to help me in meeting that vision and mission. I pledge to meet my commitment to you as a member of the PICTURE THIS team and expect that you will meet your commitment to me.

I commit myself to practicing these principles:
  • maintaining and enhancing self-esteem
  • listening and responding with empathy
  • asking for help in solving problems
I accept my individual and/or collective responsibility to solve problems. It's not important
to fix the blame.

I will seek opportunities to compliment you for the contributions you have made.

I will ask you for feedback about my behavior and respond openly to your request for

I will talk directly to you about any problems I have with you, instead of complaining to
others about you.

I accept that all decisions are not perfect and if I disagree I will do so openly and at the same
time present possible alternatives. However, once a decision is made, I will strive to make it
work. If I find a decision is not workable, I will work through the appropriate decision-making
channels to have such decisions reconsidered, modified and rescinded.

I will hold other members of the team accountable for fulfilling the above agreements,
remembering first my commitment to you and the other team members.

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