Christopher Avery

The Responsibility Process guy, reformed management consultant, author of books on personal and shared leadership, instigator.


Practice overview


Saying No and Saying Yes: Use the Power Cycle

You can use the Power Cycle when looking at what you and others say “yes” to. Utilize the discussion tool below to share the Power Cycle and help someone else take the powerful path when solving problems and operating from true Responsibility.

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Choose who to talk to

Use this guide with individuals that you believe would benefit from approaching problem solving in a more powerful way:

  • Team members who participate on work-tasks and project-based work with you
  • Peers and colleagues who engage in problem solving, collaboration, or consulting work
  • Leaders that are seeking more engaged and empowered employees

Pick the when and where

Use the guide:

  • Before a problem transforms into a high-stressor high-anxiety situation, but when a problem has been idenntified and someone or a team is looking for solutions.
  • There is no right/wrong answer for when to use this tool; use your best judgment.

Begin the conversation

Say: “I’d like to share an approach to solving this problem that I believe will offer us several benefits.”

Share the benefits of using the Power Cycle, including:

  • Discovering root causes of problems
  • Empowering and trusting the team to resolve
  • the issue(s)

Explain the Power Cycle

Share definitions for each step in the Power Cycle’s ‘flow’:

  • Looking: We ask questions and look for the root cause.
  • Clarity: We have an ‘ah-ha’ and the path to resolving the issue becomes clear because we have enough information.
  • Trust: We trust ourselves and others to take the necessary actions to resolve the issue effectively.
  • Power: Ultimately, we gain power to act, make decisions, and solve problems.

Wrap up the conversation

Explain the cyclical nature: “Consistently applying this approach will encourage and empower us to look for answers, set a clear path, and trust the issue will be resolved.”