How to Share Power in a Relationship: The Five C's
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Cs will help you better play your
part in fulfilling the promise of humanity's
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
1. I agree to bring my passion and talent to our
2. I agree to speak the truth with
3. I agree to listen deeply and respectfully to
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.
& Layne Cutright
* * *
Lovers know what they want, but not what they
need. - Publilius Syrus
and Layne Cutright are marriage and business
partners who have been teaching principles and
practices for successful relationships since 1976.
They are the founders of The Center for Enlightened
an online learning and resource center providing
e-learning products, teleclasses and coaching. They
are authors of the Amazon Best Seller,
Never Upset for the Reason You
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