How to Share Power in a Relationship

The evolutionary edge for humanity is sharing power. As a species we are gradually moving from using our power in self-centered adversarial ways to sharing our collective power for the mutual benefit of everyone concerned. We are shifting from a paradigm characterized by me or them to me and them. We are just beginning to tap into the power of co-creation.

It’s going to take more than good intentions for us to pull this one off. We are all going to have to learn to think differently, make new distinctions and include new practices in our business-as-usual routines.

We offer you the 5 C’s of co-creation to help you create a map for your exploration of this new and uncharted territory.

The 5 C’s are commitment, communication, cooperation, collaboration and coordination. If you are intending to create a future with one or more people it’s a good idea to deep the 5C’s in mind and to check in with one another periodically to see if you are taking them into consideration as you progress.

COMMITMENT – Setting your intention. What are we all committed to? Can we all state it succinctly? Does the commitment generate enthusiasm? Does it live in our everyday conversations with one another in some way? Are there any obstacles to honoring the commitment to our fullest ability? How are we dealing with those obstacles? Are we all committed to doing what is in our power to do, to have the co-creative endeavor succeed for everyone concerned?

COMMUNICATION – Creating the environment. As human beings our relationships live in language. What we talk about and how we talk about it determines the emotional climate of our relationships. Is our communication style fostering safety and creativity? Are we communicating readily, honestly, and openly? Are there things we are afraid to discuss that need to be discussed? Are there unspoken emotional undercurrents distracting our attention? Are there any recurrent communication breakdowns and is there a strategy in place so they can be avoided in the future? Does our communication include acknowledgment and gratitude? Are people making requests in order to take care of their own needs and wants? Are we giving effective feedback so we can improve as we go? Are we communicating our unified purpose to others in inspiring and enthusiastic ways?

COOPERATION – The necessary attitude. Are we cooperating? Is our cooperation motivated by an inner passion or is it being forced by fear and the need to go with the flow of others intentions? Are we able to find a common path through adversity or is it every man for him self when the going gets tough? Are there any competing egos vying for the spotlight at the expense of others? Are we clear on the benefits of cooperation in this creative endeavor? What is at risk if we don’t cooperate?

COLLABORATION – Synergizing ideas. Is there an attitude that everyone’s ideas are vital to the whole? Are we able to express our ideas freely without fear of judgment or ridicule? As a group are we asking BIG questions that bring forth the talent of everyone involved and excite our creative impulses? Are we able to engage in possibility thinking, not limited by the past or what has been? Are we skillful in bringing out the best in each other? Is the system in which we are working set up to receive the avalanche of creativity we can generate?

COORDINATION – Synchronizing action. What’s the plan? How are we coordinating our actions in effective and harmonious ways? Do we all have an overview of how all the different parts are working together? Are we clear on individual areas of responsibility and accountability? What are the consequences, if any, for failure to perform? How does time play into to it? Do we have established lines of communication? How often do we need to reevaluate the plan? How often and in what form (phone, meetings, e-mail) do we need to communicate in order to coordinate effectively?

We all play a vital part in the emerging paradigm of co-creation. Discovering our unique contribution is part of the adventure. We hope that using the 5 C’s will help you better play your part in fulfilling the promise of humanity’s evolutionary potential.

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.
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