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How to Share Power in a Relationship: The 5 C's of Co-Creation

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Author: Paul & Layne Cutright

As a species, we are gradually moving from self-centered, adversarial uses of power to collectively sharing power for the mutual benefit of everyone. We are shifting from a paradigm characterized by "me or them" to "me and them." We are lifting ourselves into the realm of co-creation.

It's going to take more than good intentions for us to pull this one off. We're all going to have to learn to think and behave differently in our business-as-usual routines. We offer you the 5 Cs of co-creation as a map for your exploration of this new and uncharted territory. Use them in working with other people, deciding how to proceed, and in resolving differences.

COMMITMENT - Set your intention by deciding together what everyone wants to accomplish. Do you feel enthusiastic about this? Do you talk about it together often? What obstacles do you foresee, and how can you deal with them? COMMUNICATION - Create the environment for successful co-creation. Our relationships live in language, so what we talk about and how we talk about it determines the emotional climate of our relationships. Does your communication style foster safety and creativity? Are you communicating readily, honestly, and openly? Are there things you are afraid to discuss that need to be discussed? Are there any recurrent communication breakdowns, and is there a strategy in place so they can be avoided in the future? Does your communication include acknowledgment and gratitude? Is everyone giving effective feedback? Are you communicating your unified purpose to others in inspiring and enthusiastic ways?

COOPERATION - Cultivate the necessary attitude, where working together is motivated by an inner passion, not being forced by fear and the need to go with the flow of others' intentions. Are you able to find a common path through adversity, or is it everyone for themselves when the going gets tough? Are there any competing egos vying for the spotlight at the expense of others? Are you clear on the benefits of cooperation in this creative endeavor? What is at risk if you don't cooperate?

COLLABORATION - Use synergy so that everyone's ideas are vital to the whole. Are you able to express your ideas freely, without fear of judgment or ridicule? As a group, are you asking BIG questions that bring forth the talent of everyone involved? Is the system in which you are working set up to receive the avalanche of creativity you can generate?

COORDINATION - Synchronize action. What's the plan? Does everyone have an overview of how all the different parts are working together? Are you clear on individual areas of responsibility and accountability? What are the consequences, if any, for failure to perform? How often and in what form (phone, meetings, e-mail) do you need to communicate with one another in order to coordinate effectively?

To invite and nurture the presence of all 5 Cs, we have found it very helpful to use written agreements that clarify the foundation of the co-creative relationship. These are the ones we like to use, and we offer them for your consideration.

Co-Creator Agreements

1. I agree to bring my passion and talent to our collective endeavor.

2. I agree to speak the truth with compassion.

3. I agree to listen deeply and respectfully to others.

4. I agree to be responsible for my own needs, wants and sense of being valued.

5. I agree to acknowledge others generously.

6. I will readily use our predetermined protocol for resolving upsets in a way that fosters personal responsibility and collective harmony.

7. I agree to use mistakes constructively and practice forgiveness when called for.

8. I will strive to maintain trust and affinity and restore them if they are damaged.

9. I agree to turn my complaints into requests and communicate constructively to the person who can do something about it.

10. I will refrain from negative gossip.

11. I agree to manage my agreements with others in responsible and courteous ways.

12. I agree to encourage and be encouraged in bringing out our individual genius.

13. I agree to nurture a soulful connection with my fellow co-creators.

© 2006 Paul and Layne Cutright - All rights reserved. You may publish this article in its entirety and with the authors' resource information intact.

About the author

Paul and Layne Cutright are relationship coaches and teachers who have been offering secrets and strategies for successful relationships at home and in business since 1976. They are authors of the best selling book, You're Never Upset for the Reason You Think - Secrets and Strategies for Resolving Any Upset Quickly and Easily. www.PaulandLayne.com

paul@paulandlayne.com


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