Have you heard of the brown contract? 💩

Benjamin P. Taylor
1 min readJun 2, 2021


It’s a simple way to work on relationships, introduced to me by our then-company coach. And brown means what you might be thinking but can’t believe I actually mean.

So, you sit down with your business partner, client, consultant, colleague, or whatever. Try to do this early on in the relationship (done late, it would be like The Airing of the Grievances at Festivus…)

And you work out together what you would each need to do to get to the worse possible relationship. You each tell the other, in advance, what to do if you want to really, really p*ss you off.

The brown contract is a list of what to do, specific to each of you, to get to the sh*ttiest relationship possible.

Once you know this, it becomes a lot easier to avoid.

Like a lot of ‘negative brainstorming’ type of work, it’s freeing because it’s fun, slightly transgressive, opens up a discussion you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

It gives a fun new bit of language you can use to open up what could otherwise be difficult conversations to start.

Try it at the start of a new (business) relationship :-)

Have you ever tried an exercise like this?

Do you have other tips for having better conversations about working together?