How do you show responsibility

What actually is responsibility?

Rarely does one start one's own career in a management position. Many of us start at the bottom. First we make coffee, copy reports, wash plates (of course I use clichés). If we do this particularly well, let's climb the ladder very slowly upwards. At some point there will be a chance for one or the other to lead a team. Then many of us first have to learn what it actually means to really take on responsibility. Or maybe we already know that? Hasn't responsibility been a challenge since childhood? After all, everyone is first of all responsible for themselves.

What is responsibility

In principle, it's a kind of task. You should ensure within your own framework or a corresponding framework that something takes a good / correct course or that no damage occurs. The outcome of a situation is not only determined by your behavior, i.e. your action or inaction, but also your decisions and your communication.

This definition is taken from the dictionary, which also includes a second part of the definition of the term:

Responsibility is ...
the obligation to stand up for something that has happened.

So responsibility is not just something that is assigned to us from outside - by someone, something, a state - but something that we already have. We usually know why we decided for or against something and if someone asked us about it, we could answer them. We could make our decision be responsible.

As we can see, there are two temporal directions in which responsibility extends:

  • Into the future - We have a responsibility to leave a habitable planet to future generations.
  • In the past / in the present - I am or have been in a difficult situation and I know why. My own choices got me there.

What actually is personal responsibility?

But now there is often talk of individual responsibility. Does this concept differ from that of responsibility? You can see it as a kind of extension!

Do any of these excuses and finger pointing sound familiar? Many believe that they are not completely in control of their lives and that there is something that keeps haunted as soon as they stick their noses out of their shell.

The state is to blame, fate simply did not want it or maybe you think a lot is going wrong or you cannot do something because you are simply the "wrong" gender. Do some women recognize themselves here? We like to use this “excuse”.

It is time for us to take responsibility!

Are you already taking responsibility?

We agree to cook dinner, walk the dog, do the laundry - each of us takes responsibility every day,

This is also the case in working life, for example when ...

  • You are given a new task,
  • You agree to prepare the next meeting,
  • You take on a customer appointment,
  • You take care of new software that improves communication in the team,
  • You make a decision (!),

but even if ...

  • You admit a mistake,
  • You promise your colleague that you will support them with a task and that you will keep your word,
  • You are already looking for positive solutions to a challenge,
  • You admit that you are not perfect.
  • ...

Responsibility is not an object and yet it can be accepted and passed on. A good leader can do both.

But now you can only take responsibility for the things that you can influence, right? How does it look with executives? Are they given responsibility for things that are beyond their control?

What are the responsibilities of managers?

A manager usually has a lot of responsibility. Clearly! Always keep an overview, manage the employees' time and their priorities, set goals, recognize the needs of customers and colleagues and act where there is a need for action ... The list can go on for a while. Quite a lot!

When I ask managers about their areas of responsibility, they usually give me all of these examples. They say they are responsible for the satisfaction of colleagues, communication in the team, resolving conflicts. What is often forgotten is personal responsibility, i.e. for your own actions and decisions!

Everything always starts with you! Personal responsibility, for example, has a lot to do with self-confidence, which in turn is based on a healthy self-perception. If you do not trust yourself to cope with a task or to lead a team, then it will be difficult for you to actually live up to this responsibility. In that case, that's exactly what you should admit to yourself! None of us is perfect, none of us can do everything!

By handing over responsibility to others, i.e. delegating tasks, you create time for the essentials, motivate your employees and show that you trust them.

Feel free to leave me a comment and share this article on your social network! Maybe you can use it to reach someone who is currently thinking about it.