The Six C’s: Controlling. Competing. [Coordinating.] Cooperating. Collaborating. Co-creating

by | Sep 22, 2023

Years ago, I named five ways of connecting with others as a way to make clear and conscious choices about how to be in relationship. In my spiral of learning, I returned to them recently in conversations with my beloved. I also added a 6th C – Coordinating – because, yes, we do this too.

A part of me would like to be in co-creation All. Of. The. Time. That part believes co-creation is the most enjoyable and the best way to be in relationship. Yes! Let’s co-create.

A different, more reluctant part of me, the one shaking her head, says “uh, I’m not so sure about that and in actual practice, and looking around, there is a lot of other ‘C’ing’ going on. You can’t just co-create.”

What is really true?

Reality for me, with my beloved, is a shared combination of Coordinating, Cooperating and Collaborating, with sufficient doses of Co-Creating. Depending upon the task and context, we are moving with these ways of relating. We could be better. We could definitely be worse.

I opened a recent conversation with him saying that I wanted to Co-create with him more. And asked, was he interested? Because this is where co-creation begins, right? If he is interested in co-creation, I am all in ready to Co-create. But, if he isn’t, I am going to meet him at a different C. As my reluctant part says, why waste my energy trying harder? Right? Why not let go the desire to Co-create? Why not make all this easier?

Our first moves after discussing the 6 C’s were naming which C we engage when we’re doing the following: packing the car to go away for the long weekend (Coordinating), discussing what we are making for dinner (Collaborating), deciding on the evening TV entertainment (Cooperating), contemplating future plans for work and family (Collaborating).

We sound pretty boring. And yet, the magic begins to happen by simply naming what is so. We see the truth of our connections… and then our connection opens wider and deeper.

Just by naming “we are Coordinating,” I naturally move to Cooperation, bordering on Collaboration.

Once we name “we are Collaborating”, I naturally move to Co-creating.

This “bump-up” effect continues effortlessly. And then, voila more magic arrives:

I can choose to Co-create all of the time.

My reluctant part joyfully joins the others on the co-creating conga line.

It does not matter what “C” another person chooses.

I choose to co-create and from my space of co-creation, magic happens (and a whole lot more).

I realize that even in the most challenging of circumstances, I can choose to co-create.

My choice to co-create affects the field of connection. It’s another form of love, love in action.

In work, in money, in situations that have been steeped in fear-based behavior and where control and competition run rampant, I choose co-creation.

I learn new ways to appreciate.

I see fear rise and fall while flexing new muscles of connection.

I enjoy being more of me co-creating with what is.

I release the concepts and conditions of C connections.

I notice more than the C’s. I connect to precious human energy that appears as Cooperation.

I become the space of Co-creation.

My presence invites others to join me in co-creation.

Being co-creating space,