Creating partnership: working intentionally to find a way out

Here's a guideline for successful partnerships.

In Partnership:

-          The power dynamic is “power with” not “power over”

-          Joint accountability and responsibility is paramount

-          The people most impacted by any decisions being made or discussed are intentionally represented at the table

-          Individuals and organizations take the time to define critical concepts such as respect, trust and dignity

-          Differences across race, gender, sexual orientation and other identities are neither judged or demeaned, but rather acknowledged, expected and taken into account

-          Cooperation, collaboration and working with others to move toward “win win” solutions is valued

-          Communication is honest and transparent, supporting truth telling and listening to each other to understand

-          Every role, position, individual and responsibility is valued

-          Tension and disagreements are expected as part of community, so practices and procedures are created to deal constructively with these realities

-          Value is placed on quality over quantity – in relationships, interactions and outcomes

-          Unequal treatment (equity) for equivalent outcomes is practiced

-          Equitable distribution of resources (personal, organizational, monetary, etc.)

-          No hidden agendas or rules

-          Conversations about sustaining the partnership are held often and over time

-          Resiliency and assets among those most marginalized are recognized and supported by all involved

-          Blaming, shaming and attacking are not allowed against self or others

-          Compassion and passion is given to all

-          Risks are taken, honored and used as learning tools

-          Complexity is expected and all work against minimizing complexity through “either/or” thinking

-          Conversations about power and privilege are anticipated and help to identify the core of what work needs to be addressed in the partnership

-          Laughter and humor are used to connect not to target others across differences

-          Vulnerability is viewed as courage, not a weakness

The work toward building and sustaining partnerships takes time and usually works against maintaining the status quo. Partnership across differences are intentional and include developing skills and strategies focused on change at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels leading to equitable outcomes for all.  The above is a beginning list of outcomes and metrics that are intended to support the beginnings of needed conversations and action steps on how individuals and groups can develop more inclusive environments for the success of all. 

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