Are you a Responsibility Hoarder?

Are you a responsibility hoarder?

I reckon I am. 

I have a wrestle going on. 

One that’s about taking too much responsibility for stuff that’s not mine to take.

Research suggests that over 50% of the people reading this will relate. And if you don’t relate, you’ll probably know someone who does. That’s why I’m sharing this.

I reckon, at times, I can take too much responsibility for:

  • The well-being of people in the groups I facilitate
  • The dynamic that’s going on in those groups
  • Keeping time as we work together
  • What happens in the session
  • The outcomes that the participants get.

Do I instead take no responsibility?

That doesn’t seem right either.

How about I take responsibility for my 50%? The stuff I can own.

Where I do my part to create the conditions for others to own what they need to own.

That seems right.

But that’s not an easy line to walk when you’re conditioned to be the responsible one. Right?

Over the years I’ve learned to identify and tame my inner ‘people pleaser’. Yet it still comes to the surface now and then. 

I know that in the long run, people-pleasing doesn’t please anyone. It simply limits me, and it limits you.

What if I don’t take responsibility? I tell myself bad things will happen. So, instead, I take ownership of stuff because if bad things happen, they are on me.

That’s the story I tell myself.

What if I told myself a different story?

One where my job is to take responsibility for my part and help others to take responsibility for their part.

What might happen then?

Here are some useful questions that I ask myself as I wrestle with this challenge. Maybe they’ll be useful for you too:

  • Where do you take too much responsibility?
  • How does that limit you?
  • How does it limit others?
  • What are the possible upsides of allowing others to take more responsibility?

What might the impact be if you explored those questions for yourself and others?

Dig Deeper Newsletter

Sign up with your email to receive weekly leadership insights, tips, and inspiration from Digby.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.