Guidance for Teaching Responsibility

Guidance for Teaching Responsibility

For teachers, coaches, leaders, parents, caregivers, and you

How do you get others to take Responsibility? That’s the big burning question.

No one can make anyone else take Responsibility.

(I can’t even make myself take Responsibility. I’ve tried. It leads to Shame, Obligation, and Quit).

You can only invite it.


The Responsibility Process® works only when self-applied.

So to get other people to take Responsibility, you want them to self-apply. And to help them self-apply, you get to teach them how Responsibility works in their mind.

With that in mind, our team recently drafted a brief guide to benefit one of our audience segments — coaches and teachers. I want to share this with you because everyone, including you, has the opportunity to teach Responsibility.


(This post began as a Responsibility Community Newsletter. It is 1000 words and takes 5 minutes to read.)

About this guide

This guide supports teachers, coaches, and others who want to teach The Responsibility Process.

We know – and are grateful – that many coaches, teachers, and workshop leaders include some form of introduction and instruction around our unique understanding of Responsibility (see what we mean by capital “R” Responsibility). Our goal with this guide is to help you serve your audience.

Most of our audience learns about The Responsibility Process from a teacher or coach. So if we support you in teaching Responsibility, you expand its reach. And that’s central to our mission.

This guide contains four sections:

  • Using the intellectual property
  • Teaching guidelines
  • Direct your clients and students to Responsibility resources
  • How can we support you?

Let’s start with what is and isn’t fair use.

Using the intellectual property

Coaches frequently ask us to clarify what intellectual property they can use and what they can’t. We’ll clarify that here.

We presume that you have a basic understanding of how to reference material that someone else created. And that you know how to do so by providing citations and links.

We categorize our intellectual property into three buckets, starting with Content under a Creative Commons license.

Content under a Creative Commons license

A Creative Commons license covers The Responsibility Process posters. It is stated on the back of each translation at the bottom of the second page and reads:

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons International Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (see for what this license covers).

Available in 29 languages, you may distribute this poster in hard copy or digital format in its entirety only and without changes or adaptations. We encourage you to distribute it far and wide.

Additionally, all of the content and our broadcast emails are also covered by a Creative Commons license.

Most content posted elsewhere online (such as on Slideshare, Youtube, LinkedIn, and such) is covered by a Creative Commons license.

There are some exceptions. We have created content for many publishers who retain the rights to their publications. For these, you would follow generally-accepted guidelines for using copyrighted material.

Christopher’s books

The Responsibility Process book and Teamwork Is An Individual Skill are covered by international copyright laws.

If you wish to quote or excerpt The Responsibility Process book beyond what copyright law allows, contact us to request permission.

If you wish to quote or excerpt Teamwork Is An Individual Skill beyond what copyright law allows, contact its publisher, Berrett-Koehler.

Proprietary materials

All materials for workshops, seminars, training, and online programs are copyright protected. These materials are for the personal use of the participant only and may not be copied, cited, or distributed.

An exception to this is for Certified Responsibility Workshop Leaders. People in this group have access to proprietary materials for the workshops they are certified to lead.

That’s it for intellectual property. Now let’s turn to some ideas we can offer you to help your students.

Teaching guidelines

There is no one right way to teach Responsibility. We suggest that you create your own presentation based on your understanding.

And, if you are looking for outlines, search on “The Responsibility Process” or “Responsibility Process Avery”. You’ll find lots.

Here’s one of my favorites.

Here’s what we’ve learned about teaching Responsibility:

  • Own your level of expertise. Be transparent about the depth of your own understanding and practice.
  • Start teaching before you are ready. If you wait until you are living in Responsibility all of the time, you’ll never teach it.
  • Be light. It’s a heavy subject – if you come in with “Thou shalt take Responsibility” you will lose your audience.
  • Avoid preaching right/wrong, good/bad, or should/shouldn’t. Simply share and teach how the mind works.
  • Use yourself as the example for each coping state. Since your mind goes to Lay Blame, Justify, Shame, Obligation, and Quit every day, you have lots of material. Poking fun at yourself gives your audience permission to acknowledge their mental states.
  • Respect the integrity of the material. If you want to teach The Responsibility Process and related material, then please don’t alter it.

And here’s the most important observation:

You can teach Responsibility only to the extent that you have integrated it into your life.

And if you want to integrate it faster, teach it. It’s a recursive dynamic.

Those are our best teaching guidelines. Employ them, and see how they work.

Now let’s provide some next steps for you and your students.

Direct your clients and students to Responsibility resources

Encourage your students to develop their own Responsibility-thinking practice. Let them know that we  — The Responsibility Company — are here to support them. We provide tons of complimentary content, tools, and many free email series.

Send your charges to to explore for themselves. More specifically, they can:

When your charges come to the official source for Responsibility, you invite us to help you help them.

How can we better support you?

Thank you for reading this. We’ll take a continuous improvement approach to expanding it. To that end, we want to know two things:

  • We want to know the value of this guide to you as the teacher or coach.
  • Tell us what change we can experiment with that will produce significantly more value for you or others.

To address these questions, send me an email.

To your freedom, choice, and power.
Christopher Avery and The Responsibility Company team

Try us

Consider joining the Responsibility Community. (It’s all-content and no-selling).

Posted in Article, Featured
double line logo dark circle