Taking Responsibility


Taking responsibility is probably the most confusing term in mutual communication at work. There are people with a very high sense of responsibility, but there are also those who run the risk. What is taking responsibility anyway? Some people think that you should do everything in your power to fulfill your role in achieving project or departmental goals. With the risk that you will compensate the diving behavior of others. Others are of the opinion that taking responsibility means that you only do what has been agreed, but will we still achieve the results together? The answer is somewhere in the middle or below the surface. Form your own opinion and coordinate that with others at work.

What do you mean by being responsible?

Ask colleagues and you will be surprised about the different answers. The word responsibility means that you must be able to account for yourself to others. That others can address you about the proper performance of your duties. But what does "taking responsibility" mean? That you address yourself to the proper execution of your work and prevent others from addressing you? Or that you actually appeal to others more?

Do you own job well

In organizations where it's important to work efficiently in a standard process, it's assumed that everything works well if everyone adheres to the agreed tasks. Taking responsibility is: do your own work well, within the part of the process and according to the work agreements with others. Then of course you have to know what your own work is. Being skilled in discussing, agreeing and addressing when it comes to work agreements with others, such as managers, team members or colleagues from other departments.

Do more than your own work

When you work in environments where there is a lot of change, where there is extreme work pressure, or where you are dealing with a lack of clarity or disruptions in the "standard way of working", "taking responsibility" also has a different meaning: Making sure we solve it TOGETHER ( take responsibility for the whole) and ensure that I work flexibly or ' Agile ' (feel responsible for my contribution). This is based on the idea that you will experience a result together .

How doesn't that work in projects?

A project is ultimately human work. Projects are delayed because team members don't communicate with each other sufficiently concretely when making work agreements about workflow and end products, and only find out when the task should have been finished. Another problem is that team members experience the double-pet dilemmas through the mix of functional responsibility (project hat ) and hierarchical responsibility (department hat ). A complaint from clients is that the project leader doesn't take enough action as an entrepreneur .

Make sure you are able to give an answer

In English the word "responsability" is used, which literally means: having the ability to give a correct response in a given setting. To have this flexibility you must be well balanced and be able to anticipate. Then the concept of taking responsibility suddenly takes a different turn: Keep developing yourself, sharing knowledge and continuous learning to stay skilled in giving a response that is appropriate for yourself and for the greater whole.

Practical Tips

  • Be aware that you are responsible for you according to your own standards, and according to others;
  • ask yourself: "what do I feel responsible for?"
  • make sure you have a good balance when taking responsibility. Do not take the entire world on your shoulders, but don't show any diving behavior;
  • discuss the division of tasks with others, make specific work agreements and address others if necessary;
  • continue to learn from practice to gain deeper insight into possible actions. A choice of three is the best choice.

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