How to Share Power in a Relationship: The 5 C's of Co-Creation
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
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.
1. I agree to bring my passion and talent to our
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
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