Rules are a mirror of your identity

After you make an inspirational presentation in which it seems that you and your future boss completely agree with the content of the work, you will receive an employment contract. It consists of twenty pages filled with legal threat language about confidentiality, non-competition clauses and penalty clauses. and one paragraph in which your new job is described in terms of output and outcome. You check stationery, as this cannot come from the organization you wish to associate with.

An organization that values ​​cooperation and trust and wants to hire you because of your experience and professionalism. But you also don’t want to make things difficult at this last stage of the selection process and ask a lawyer friend to read through to make sure there aren’t crazy things in it. This indicates that it is very much related to the standard provisions. So expect, start the new job in good spirits and hope you never get into a situation where this contract has to be withdrawn.

Apparently it is an administrative trifle, the employment contract we put at the end of the application procedure. Just like the grant agreement or purchase contract that is signed at the end of the evaluation or negotiation procedure. But it says a lot about the relationships organizations enter into and how you view those relationships. Do they see every recipient of subsidy as a fraud, every employee as an incompetent thief and every opportunistic supplier who wants to offer the minimum quality for the maximum amount? If you look at the average agreement, you get this impression. Certainly when it comes to a dependency relationship in which the (governmental) organization is the dominant party, as when granting subsidies and permits.

The old saying “as a bar owner, he trusts his guests” does not automatically apply to this. There is a good chance that the manager you spoke to may not know exactly what is in this employment contract. He trusts that a regulatory attorney or HRM consultant will use all kinds of reasonable things out there. Like I did when I fell. But in the meantime, the agreement reduces the value of the relationship you enter with each other to legal form. Where it is no longer possible to recognize the values ​​that underpin your relationship. Not to mention that it reflects the mission and vision of the organization.

Soon I will be diving into the world of Goldschmeding’s “conscious contract” with two professors. To help organizations achieve justice for the people involved and their interrelationships in their agreements. People-oriented agreements with a focus on shared goals, social impact, and sustainable collaboration. Written in clear, coherent language, so that only lawyers don’t understand what you’re saying. Where no threat prevails and people do not immediately go to court if things go wrong.

Rules (and thus reciprocal agreements as well) can help nurture the values ​​we consider important and collaborate with people and parties who share those values. Conscious contracting is not an argument for canceling all legal provisions in agreements. Sometimes they are very useful as a legal basis for potential conflict situations. But it would be nice to focus more on what you want to achieve together and how you see it. From there both of you can decide if you need to score something about this, and which one fits best. Don’t wait until your future employer is ready, but make it a point during the application process. Because the rules you stick to say a lot about what they stand for.

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