Responsibility

 

Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“I work for a bank. I have a coworker that is responsible for a group of direct reports. Often, they, my coworker, are faced with questions or tasks they cannot answer or complete. They should be able to, given their responsibilities, but they seem to prefer dumping it on others. It creates resentment. What should I do?”

Don’t be the dump-ee, dumpy. You’re receiving the dump. Why do you receive the dump? Stop. Stop receiving the dump. No more dumping. If they’re dumping it on you and they should be able to do it, remember, what you allow, you teach. If you’re allowing something to occur, if you’re allowing something to happen, then what tends to happen is that you keep teaching them. If they keep dumping on you or others and others keep taking it on, then it’s their responsibility for accepting the dump.

The way that you do it when the person backs the dump truck up, you hear the beeping, beep, beep, beep, dump truck is backing up, these responsibilities and tasks they should be doing, they’re going to unload them on you, just walk around to the cab of the truck, to beat this metaphor to death, and ask them, “You know what? I think this is something that you and your team should be able to do. What can I do to help you guys execute on this?” Or, “What resources do you need so that you can solve this problem? What resources do you need so you can solve the problem?” Very, very, very important, because if you don’t do that, you’re going to find yourself in a position where you’re going to be more and more resentful and more and more bothered

What can I do to help you execute on this? What resources do you need from me so that you can execute on this? What do you need to do so that you can help your people or your team or your group because you did say– yes, there’s responsible for group of direct reports. How can I help you do this with them on your own? The minute they dump on you. Now, doing somebody a favor occasionally, that’s a different issue, but what you really want to focus on is how do you more effectively continue to put the responsibility back on them by asking really good questions like I just suggested.

Hope that’s helpful.

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