Responsibility Immersion Why & Who

Responsibility Immersion Values

Responsibility Immersion Why & Who

This post began as an informational email series from Christopher for people interested in learning about Responsibility Immersion. Our team built this post from that email series so that the information persists and so we (and you) can easily reference the information.

If you want to assess whether Responsibility Immersion (aka, Immersion or RI) might be for you, consider this post as your next step. Christopher reviews for you our data on

  • who “hires” Immersion (roles, industries, countries, etc.),
  • what “job” they hire Immersion to do for them, and
  • what benefits they report at the end of the 20 weeks.

Its purpose is to support you in exploring whether Immersion might be a fit for you. We focus on value for you — no selling.

We are honored by your time and attention. Thank you. Please let us know if you have questions or comments.

The balance of this post is edited from the five emails that make up our RI Why & Who series. This content is a lightly edited version of the original emails.

The post is about 4800 words. It will take the average reader 16 minutes. But leave yourself time to explore the links.

Click a section title to jump to that section:

Part 1: A fly-over of what, who, and why

I’m grateful that you want to know more about Responsibility Immersion through this RI Why & Who series. I never know who the next human spark in the world-wide Responsibility community might be. It could be you — so I am willing to support all who are interested.

First…

Are you the intended audience for this series?

Before we go any further, let’s make sure you are investing your time and attention well.

This series is intended for those who:

  1. already understand the basics of The Responsibility Process and what it is for, and
  2. see themselves as a potential candidate for a 20-week immersive Zoom and online growth experience.

This email series is not intended to give an introduction and overview of The Responsibility Process. If that is what you seek, please explore some overview pages on this site. I also recommend your own search on responsibility+process+avery. That can keep you entertained for hours.

Thank you. Let’s move on…

What this post is and is not

This post is intended to give you the information you can use to sense whether Immersion can serve you at this point in your life. It is not meant to sell you on the next cohort of Responsibility Immersion (aka, Immersion or RI).

As already stated, I will make no sales pitch or offer to buy in this article.

I trust this is okay with you.

(And, if you don’t want to wait for the rest of this series, or if you wish to ask a question — which I encourage as it helps me learn what’s on your mind — please just reach out by email and open a dialog.)

Okay, briefly, what is Responsibility Immersion?

(Briefly. No need to give you all the details at this point.)

RI is a 16-week course that you get 20 weeks to complete (so there are 4 weeks of buffer built-in, because “life happens”).

Immersion is designed to activate Responsibility-thinking by immersing you in a Responsibility culture.

The course requires 2-3 hours per week (total) of instruction and application. You get immediate benefit, i.e., increased ability to function in your life, from each application.

You receive the content in 16 weekly 90-minute interactive Zoom sessions scheduled on a weekday (not Friday) at 11:00 A.M. Central time (UTC -6). These 16 sessions are recorded and posted in your Immersion portal for replay in case you cannot attend live.

central element of the course is being part of an Immersion cohort peer-group while also studying and practicing alongside more advanced students. These advanced students embody a culture of Responsibility where you see the contrast between the coping culture that you most likely live in and a true growth culture of Responsibility.

(In a subsequent section in this series, I’ll delve deeper into this idea of being immersed in a culture of Responsibility — a huge contributor to your learning and growth.)

It’s a very effective learning environment.

By the way, you can always see the basic details, including the dates for the next cohort, on the Responsibility Immersion product page.

That’s enough of an overview for now.

And please do send your questions to hello@responsibility.com. Your questions help me improve the value of the information I provide.

Now, let’s get into the who & why that you asked for.

(Note, because this is part one of the blog post, and I feel it is important to touch on each of the points above, it is a long part one. Good news, though. You are half-way through, and the rest is what you really asked for. Enjoy.)

Who “hires” Immersion, and for what “job”?

The title of this section comes from the language of product development and management. That’s the art and science of understanding the requirements for a product.

The idea is to figure out what job your customer hires your product to do for them.

That’s challenging to do for many products — including this one, Immersion. We’ll invest the remainder of this series giving you a variety of perspectives on this.

Let’s start with a high-level overview of the who.

The who

Here’s what we know about Immersion graduates. They are

  • predominantly technical professionals (along with photographers, homemakers, entrepreneurs, and general managers),
  • 30-50 years old, though we have younger and older graduates,
  • about 60% male and 40% female, and,
  • from about 30 countries mostly in the Americas and Europe.

(My apologies to Singapore, Japan, Australia, India, Thailand, and others. We love you. Our chosen time for live web-meetings makes Immersion less optimally-timed for you in Australasia.

We have had some guests from your region. I’m always so impressed when they attend a live call and it is 2 or 3 A.M. for them. Respect!

Our hope is to one day be able to offer Responsibility Immersion at times that are optimal for Australasia.)

Immersion is very popular in all the “agile” arenas:

  • agile software development,
  • agile project/program management,
  • agile business,
  • agile leadership, and
  • agile “flavors” such as Scrum, Lean, SAFe, and KanBan.

Why “agile”?

Because people interested in agility are early adopters of The Responsibility Process. Ownership, self-leadership, owning problems, and collaboration are important values and principles in agile arenas. And Responsibility-thinking is core to all of them.

Here’s an overview of agility from the major trade association, the Agile Alliance.

HOWEVER…

…Immersion is much wider and deeper than agility and you need not be an “agilista” to join us in Immersion.

Okay. Time to look at what Immersion guests hire Immersion to do for them.

The why

For what job do guests hire immersion?

We’ve already looked at one job group above — agility — as an aspect of exploring the who.

Lots of Immersion guests hire Immersion to become more agile. To elaborate just a bit on how that works, Responsibility-thinking increases your ability to respond.

Respond to what?

Respond to change, problems, roadblocks, obstacles, and challenges — stuff! aka crap.

(I bet you can relate.)

Responsibility-thinking makes you more flexible, adaptable, and resilient, and that means you are more resourceful and more able to handle change and uncertainty.

Okay, moving along from agileness…

Something that pretty much defines Immersion guests is that they are each deeply interested in

  • Self-leadership (personal growth and improvement), and/or,
  • Leadership (informal/assumed, cross-functional, peer, team, department), and/or,
  • Coaching (life, executive, leadership, enterprise, agile, even little league and soccer).

Some Immersion guests identify with one or two of these areas. Many guests identify strongly with all three.

Let’s leave it here for now

I sense this is enough to process for now.

The next part takes it deeper by delving into data we’ve collected from Immersion guests about who they are and what they want from Immersion.

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Part 2: Who, more specifically?

Let’s continue this RI Why & Who series with some data about who joins Responsibility Immersion and why.

I have data to share.

For two recent cohorts, I invited Immersion participants to complete an Immersion Beginning Snapshot survey.

(I’m doing some quick cut & paste here from a Google Forms report instead of exporting the data and manipulating it myself or having it done — both a little time-intensive for now — I trust you can work with these data.)

This first chart reports on our question asking “who you are”. Respondents could check all that apply, so the totals add to more than the 45 respondents.

Who are Responsibility Immersion participants

The chart rendering is incomplete, so I transcribed the information:

  • I consider myself an Agilist (i.e., I work in or with the agile industry) – 29
  • I am currently in a coaching role – 25
  • I aspire to be in a coaching role – 9
  • I am currently in a leadership role (formal or informal) – 31
  • I aspire to be in a leadership role – 8
  • I am a new Immersion student – 27
  • I am a continuing Mastery member participating in Immersion – 15
  • I am Immersion Faculty – 5

Now looking at this, one thing that surprises: Only 29 of the 45 folks — about 65% — consider themselves an agilist. That’s cool. I estimated higher. I’m glad about this.

(I want us to reach everywhere, well beyond any one industry.)

You may wonder about the last two items:

  • I am a continuing Mastery member participating in Immersion – 15
  • I am Immersion Faculty – 5

To create a Responsibility culture in which guests can be immersed, we involve more than new RI guests in Immersion. We also include ongoing members of Responsibility Mastery as well as Immersion Faculty.

I’ll describe each.

Responsibility Immersion and Responsibility Mastery (aka, RM or Mastery) are “sister” products.

Mastery is a membership community that existed prior to us offering Immersion. Mastery included everything in Immersion. It was known as The Leadership Gift Program.

(You may still see some of this “Leadership Gift” language here and there as it fades to the background in favor of simpler labels.)

The purpose of Responsibility Mastery is to provide a community of ongoing support for each member’s journey toward life mastery through mastering Responsibility.

(Remember that the purpose of Immersion is to activate Responsibility thinking in you. It does not promise mastery in 20 weeks. I wish!)

We invite Mastery members to join an Immersion cohort and participate alongside guests. Why would they do this? They see great value in repeating the Core Modules and Q&A Dialogs.

And they love to support new guests in their learning.

So what about Faculty?

Immersion Faculty are Mastery members that we invite to host some of the Zoom meetings. They have each demonstrated tremendous growth over an extended period of time as Mastery members and have been recognized for that growth.

Thus Immersion guests get face-time with me and with an international faculty of Responsibility students with proven track records of Responsibility-thinking.

Okay, let’s close this out

In this part we looked at some data about who participates in Immersion. We also learned a bit more about how Immersion creates a culture of Responsibility in which to immerse guests.

Next we’ll look at more data about what guests tell us they want from their Immersion experience.

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Part 3: What problem does Immersion solve?

One way to look at a product is to ask what problem it solves. Another is to ask what benefit it provides. In this part we look at data we’ve collected about problems that Immersion guests want to address.

Then we’ll segue just a bit into benefits at the end of this email.

What problem areas?

Let’s look at the data about what problems are on the mind of Responsibility Immersion guests and why. These data come from the same Immersion Beginning Snapshot we looked at yesterday.

(Does it feel weird reading or hearing “these data” instead of “this data”? It feels weird saying it and writing it. Yet data is the plural of datum. Weird indeed.)

Here, to get at the question of “for what job are you engaging Immersion?” we asked “what problem areas currently have your attention?”

(As a quick aside I remind you that the trigger for The Responsibility Process is something going wrong, i.e., a problem. People interested in Responsibility-thinking realize — and are willing to acknowledge — that they experience problems, large and small, which they want to learn to own and overcome, not merely cope with.)

Let’s look at the chart.

What problem areas have your attention?

I’ll transcribe the data to fill in the missing parts, then explore a few things that I see in it.

  • Feeling stuck in life or at work – 14
  • Experiencing persistent, pesky problems – 17
  • Leading or coaching underperforming organizations – 19
  • Your own leadership performance – 21
  • Relationship issues – 16
  • Leading or being on low performing teams – 11
  • A habit of poor personal choices – 10
  • Feeling powerless and undervalued – 14
    _________________________________
  • I am entering true, collaborative teamwork for the first time in my life. Previously I had some limiting beliefs and poor understanding of boundaries/responsibility and avoiding teamwork with individual responsibilities – 1
  • Persistent need for control – 1
  • Health issues – 1
  • I blame myself often and it affects my happiness – 1
  • Redesigning my life – 1

The first eight items are distilled from years of listening and observing what problems people bring to the Immersion experience.

AND — this is fun — the questionnaire invited respondents to write-in other problems that are on their minds. So, you see the five items at the bottom of the list that each garnered one vote. Those were the write-ins.

We might improve future versions of the Immersion Beginning Snapshot by adding some of these items.

Now, take notice of the higher numbers for the items specifically related to work.

Just mark this in your mind for now. When we get to email #5 in this series we’ll see that what graduates take away from Immersion is actually deeper and broader than what they anticipated at the beginning.

Okay. Switching gears…

What are the benefits?

Here at the close of this part, I want to expand just a tad on what job our guests engage Immersion for.

Here’s a short list of four compelling benefits of practicing Responsibility-thinking that have resonated with folks:

  • growing faster,
  • getting unstuck,
  • having more impact, and
  • being the one others want to follow.

(Yeah, they resonate with me too.)

The next part dives into the data we have about the benefits people seek from Immersion.

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Part 4: Specific benefits of Responsibility Immersion

In the last part we looked at what job Immersion guests engage (or hire, or employ) Responsibility Immersion for. Today, let’s look at the benefits that graduates report experiencing.

I just realized that while I’m sure I understand the concept of benefits, I did not actually know the definition. So I looked it up.

Benefits are something that is advantageous or good; an advantage. (dictionary.com)

Marketing teachers and consultants almost always recommend communicating a short list of benefits for any product or service.

In the last part I closed with such a short list:

  • growing faster,
  • getting unstuck,
  • having more impact, and
  • being the one others want to follow.

The challenge of coming up with a short list of benefits for Responsibility-thinking is that the levels and types of benefits are endless.

Why?

Because success gurus since Socrates have taught that taking 100% personal Responsibility for your life is the first principle of success in any endeavor.

The first principle of success.

In any endeavor.

Any.

Inspirational author and speaker Jack Canfield, best known for his Chicken Soup for the Soul books (now an enterprise with over 250 titles), wrote extensively about personal responsibility as the first principle of success in his excellent book Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

Chapter 1 is: Take 100% responsibility for your life.

I share this because the specific benefits of practicing Responsibility are endless, from making money to making pasta, from living with an amazing love to living with joy.

You get the picture.

It all depends on what you want. Or…

What you want to change (in your life or in the world). Or…

Who you want to be. Or…

What you want to have in your life. Or…

How you want to be in the world. Or…

You name it!

(You may notice I don’t use a lot of exclamation points. I find they are overused!! [See?] I prefer to let the words do the exclaiming. So when I use one, as I just did, I mean it. (-: )

Taking all of this into consideration, it’s really a business’s specific product offer to a specific audience that shapes what benefits the business can promise and deliver on. For instance, the same heavy duty truck sold to the military and to the general public may offer different benefits to each even though the features are identical.

So, since our marketplace is primarily technical professionals who are interested in

  • self-leadership for personal and professional development,
  • leadership, both formal and informal, and
  • coaching, then,

The list of specific benefits is one that is meaningful to them.

Take a look at these data from the same Immersion Beginning Snapshot that we’ve already looked at.

What benefits of practicing responsibility most appeal to you?

And since some of the important text is missing from the chart, here is my transcription:

  • Be a better leader of self and others – 35
  • Make better decisions – 17
  • Face and solve problems – 21
  • Improve my resourcefulness – 15
  • Enjoy mental clarity – 25
  • Reduce stress – 20
  • Be more fulfilled – 14
    __________________
  • I want it all. All of the above. No limit of 4! – 1*
  • Be a better partner, friend and mother – 1
  • Placating is my forward stance. I’d like to reduce placating. – 1
  • Raise my awareness and mindfulness – 1

*(The questionnaire asked respondents to choose their top four from this list.)

I sure am glad that we allow respondents to enter their own items. It helps me learn so much more about the benefits our guests seek.

The good news is this: Since we are teaching Responsibility-thinking, we can help a guest experience any benefit they can dream of.

That’s cool.

I wish to observe something for you about these specific benefits before we close out for today. Notice that the benefits can be lumped into two categories:

  • being betterand
  • feeling better.

Being better (which I see as the first 4 or 5 items in the list before the write-ins) is all about participating in our economic systems so that we are better contributors and so we will also be better rewarded. This is a fairly general “want” of most professionals (which is who we serve).

Feeling better (which I see as the final 2 or 3 in the list before the write-ins) is all about one’s experience of life — peace, joy, happiness, abundance, etc.

This is what I want and intend for everyone at work, that all can be both productive and happy without limits. And I’m pleased that Immersion brings these together.

In the next part we look at what graduates say they actually received from the 20 weeks of Immersion. It is inspiring.

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Part 5: Changes that graduates report after Immersion

Yesterday we wrapped up three parts that looked at data from the Immersion Beginning Snapshot questionnaire that many guests complete at the beginning of Responsibility Immersion.

Now, let’s look at some data that we are collecting after guests complete the 20 weeks of Immersion.

These data are not available in the form of fancy charts. They are all in narrative form as we asked graduates to respond to four requests:

  1. Compare your power of Intention now to when you started Immersion.
  2. Compare your power of Awareness now to when you started Immersion.
  3. Compare your power of Confront now to when you started Immersion.
  4. Compare your experience of life now to when you started Immersion.

I’ll choose some illustrative (I hope) responses to each of the four statements.

Before doing that, I wish to remind you of a basic teaching of Responsibility: You cannot alter The Responsibility Process inside of you. It will always be there. It will always get triggered every time something goes wrong.

You can’t change it. Why? Because it is a natural cognitive process that operates in every human being. It is part of your basic design.

So, with practice in Responsibility thinking, we learn to use it as an amazing signaling device.

I now love it when I catch myself in one of the coping states. Why? Because it signals me to put the 3 Keys to Responsibility to use to change my life.

The 3 Keys are our innate (i.e., natural, given at birth) powers of:

  • Intention,
  • Awareness, and
  • Confront.

I won’t go into them further here since you have hopefully learned a little about them in content I’ve provided elsewhere.

But now you know why we ask graduates not about The Responsibility Process, but about their powers of Intention, Awareness, and Confront.

How guests’ power of Intention changed

Here are two responses about how guests’ power of intention changed in 20 weeks.

(I could have inserted dozens more. Instead I’ve chosen a representative sampling.)

“I am more focused on leading myself, choosing more often than not, to stay outside of the control prison. Slow and deliberate thinking about wants vs. needs, having good goals that motivate me and firing bad goals that put me in Obligation.”

“[Before Immersion] I had conditioned myself to not want anything so that I would not be disappointed when I didn’t get it. What really happened was that I denied myself while giving too much to others. Now, I allow myself to want and I believe that I can have what I want. I am also starting to believe that I deserve to get what I want from life.”

Wow. Just wow.

Pardon me while I feel — and express — goose bumps. As we tell guests when they report wins like these: “this is huge!” and “Congratulations.”

Okay, let’s move on.

How guests’ power of Awareness changed

Here are a couple of representative responses about the power of awareness before and after Immersion.

“I am much more aware of my upsets, after they have happened, increasingly while they are happening, and sometimes before they happen. I am working to catch them sooner!“

“I am aware that there is another path. In September this was all new to me. To be honest I was quite skeptical that I would develop any awareness to make effective change in my life. I still make mistakes that I made before but I am able to now have the awareness to see those mistakes, the compassion to forgive myself, and the patience to grow over time. My family and I [are] able to communicate on a much more effective and efficient level.”

And I want also to share this response with you:

“I recognize coping in myself faster, and feel more compassion when I see others coping.”

Imagine that.

Imagine seeing others expressing Lay Blame, Justify, Shame, or Obligation and experiencing empathy for their humanness as opposed to judging them for not taking Responsibility.

Lovely.

Let’s turn to the power of Confront.

How guests’ power of Confront changed

Remember that Confront is a not-very-well recognized power. It’s the ability to face — as opposed to retreat from — one’s own fear and anxiety. Most people aren’t very skilled at this. Most of us just want to feel safe (which has us running from — or dramatizing — our own upsets and anxieties instead of facing them).

Let’s look at what some graduates have to say about how they changed their power of Confront.

“My power increased enormously since I changed my relationship to anxiety and upset. I can now view it as a signal to look at the thoughts behind it and how I am creating my own anxiety — and making it worse by not facing it.”

“This was probably the most anxiety-producing practice for me. The Confront module helped me see that I was unwilling to face even the smallest obstacles in my life. I wasn’t even willing to face myself in the mirror. I am looking forward to continued growth and practice in this area of responsibility.”

Sweet. Comfort zones can now be expanded at will.

How guests’ experience of life changed

Our final request was for graduates to compare their experience of life before and after the 20 weeks.

I’m going to share way more than two. These are too good.

“Leadership ability is up, pace is slower and more deliberate, introspective. I’m driving myself less, [and I] have entered a curious and more tender phase.”

Yay.

Having more awareness and intention around my wants, needs and demands has resulted in a shift from Obligation to Responsibility. Demonstration [i.e., demonstrating Responsibility in crucial moments] has also resulted in some profound results, especially in my current situation at work. I have transitioned from a position I found pretty unfulfilling to a more engaging role that has more opportunities to add actual value. This is a big shift.”

Win!

It is interesting that there is just a little mention of work and career in these responses. However if you go back to emails three (on why) and four (on benefits) you will see those themes represented in these reports of life experience.

Responsibility has nothing specific to do with work. Work is simply a part of life where we invest so much time and attention, and that we want to go well and feel good about.

Here’s the story behind the second quote above…

This person was already doing the work of a role well above her pay grade and was asked to take on her departed manager’s role for little change in pay or title. She knew her worth. She took responsibility for figuring out what she wanted. Then she firmly suggested that they grant her the full promotion, title, and salary.

She got it all.

(-:

A much greater sense of pride of ownership of my worth.

Yes.

Love the question. 🙂 The experience is totally different – in so many ways.

After a very challenging period, I feel powerful again and driven by a lot of courage to take on the upcoming challenges – but also more patient with myself if I am not there right away.

Excellent.

I have become aware of some thoughts that were ruling my life and have taken actionable steps to change those thoughts. Those thoughts were preventing me from experiencing life fully. I was afraid of joy, fear, and love. I didn’t deserve joy, so it could never last. Fear was a constant feeling and kept me from taking bold action. The possibility of lost love was too painful to even consider. Before Immersion, I had a victim mentality that colored my world. Now, I know that I can change that. I have hope.

Wow. I recently read that when we understand our awareness we take charge of our perception. That’s what I see in the above quote.

I know that the power is within me. I can control myself, and I can’t control anyone or anything outside of me.

Yes. Allowing others to be who they are. Wonderful.

That’s enough.

I think these six quotes are representative and telling.

One last observation – I think that if we asked graduates if the advantages they gained are the advantages they wanted or expected, they would say ‘yes, and more.’

I hope these quotes have been useful to you in understanding what graduates take away from Immersion.

Two things before we close

Thing one

I hope you have enjoyed this five-part series intended to provide valuable content only and no offers or selling. I would love to know:

  1. If and how it helped (or didn’t help) you understand whether Responsibility Immersion might be a good fit for you, and
  2. How anything about this series might be improved.

Send your feedback and questions to hello@responsibiity.com.

Thing two

And, as promised, if you now want to know all the details, logistics, investment required, schedule, FAQs, and more about getting involved in an upcoming cohort of Responsibility Immersion, please visit https://responsibility.com/immersion/.

That’s it.

Thank you again for your time and attention. As always, it’s an honor.

To your freedom, choice, and power,

Christopher Avery
CEO & Founder
The Responsibility Company

 

 

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