The Seven Stones Blog

The Seven Laws In Action: The Power of Covenants

By Guest Blogger

Seven Stones is a bold invitation to lifelong learning and to live, work and thrive in loving authenticity, cherishing all beings. 

This month we are considering how to use The 7 Laws of Enough in organizational structures. We have used Seven Stones as a learning lab for us to create a space that fulfills the promise of the laws. One way we enacted the laws was the creation of a covenant for all of our partners, coaches and vendors to sign. We realized that we needed to be explicit about how we worked, treated others and expected to be treated. Also as we grew we wanted to be intentional during our hiring process about what our expectations are for anyone we work with and for ourselves. 

We encourage you to create a covenant that upholds your values and creates relational integrity for your organization so that all team members have a common baseline from which to work.

Here is an excerpt from ours:

Our Covenant

Welcome! We are happy you have chosen to work with us. This covenant is designed to ensure that the workplace we create at Seven Stones wholly reflects the values ingrained in all of our work. 

We take seriously and to heart your choice to spend your precious time working with us. We believe in a partnership model of roles and relationships. Rather than exerting power over others, we choose to be in relationship with others, even those who work “for” us. We see our work together as a co-creation.  

We are committed to creating a rich exchange between us so both parties are satisfied, even delighted with how we work together. In creating a rich exchange of value, there are multiple currencies, money being an important one but not the only one. We also value connection, belonging, truth, transparency and appreciation. To us, these currencies matter as much as the money. As you move through your work day, managing projects and serving our clients we ask that you care for all of these different currencies.

Exchange of Promises

We live in a complex interwoven web of promises; the keeping and renegotiating of those promises builds trust and lasting relationships. When we fall short, as we all do from time to time, we address those breakdowns until both parties are complete and satisfied.

We will:

  • Honor your boundaries. For example, you have a right not to answer e-mail on nights and weekends. You have a right to time off. 
  • Take all your requests seriously and make our own as needed.
  • Be committed to completion and being complete with you. 
  • Provide a deep listening for what you need to be successful.
  • Promise to stay in relationship through mistakes, missteps and failures.
  • When it is time to end our work together by either parties’ choice, we commit to a process of respect, open communication and completion.
  • Commit to no retaliation when you speak truth.
  • Speak our truth with dignity and care for all involved.
  • Say things to people’s faces not behind their backs.
  • Not engage in gossip.
  • Establish boundaries. They matter and we matter.
  • Declare breakdowns and commit to staying to handle them without cutting of the relationship.
  • Come to conversations, even challenging ones, looking for how we can be responsible for the breakdown.
  • Look at our unconscious biases so we are all unwinding the system of inequity together and building something that is safe for all at Seven Stones, not just a few.

 

You will:

  • Speak your truth with dignity and care for all involved.
  • Say things to people’s faces not behind their backs.
  • Not engage in gossip.
  • Stand for yourself and advocate for your needs. No-one can do that for you, and we welcome your self-care here.
  • Make requests and ask for help at any time. 
  • Establish boundaries. They matter and you matter.
  • Let us know immediately of any dissatisfaction so that any breakdowns are addressed until both parties are satisfied with the outcome.
  • Make a commitment to relationships and demonstrate the courage to candidly examine professional challenges.
  • Declare breakdowns and commit to staying to handle them instead of just leaving or quitting without warning.
  • Come to conversations, even challenging ones, looking for how you can be responsible for the breakdown.
  • Deal with breakdowns over phone or in person, never over email. E-mail is for coordination of action, not for process. 
  • Develop a practice to support your commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Establish an awareness practice.
  • Look at your unconscious biases so we are all unwinding the system of inequity together and building something that is safe for all at Seven Stones, not just a few.

The above promises are enduring—they remain in place holding us all accountable to create a culture consistent with our ethical stand. 

Here are some reflections from our team about what it meant to read and work inside our covenant.

“Here at Seven Stones, I feel understood, appreciated and supported through every success and misstep. Every day I practice being in alignment with the covenant for work and my personal life. I have so much gratitude for Seven Stones and the work that we do together.”

“It is my first experience working with people who truly “walk the walk” and genuinely “reflect the values ingrained in all of our work.” I have appreciated this and have seen it in action here at Seven Stones. I have seen people come and go, and have seen conflict resolved in a peaceful, caring, thoughtful and sincere manner. I have observed hurts be resolved, and people wrap up their work with Seven Stones in full completion. I appreciate being valued as a person, as someone who belongs at Seven Stones, in all my humanity, strengths and weaknesses included.”

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