The Problem With We

So it happened today. I was sitting in a meeting, and we were discussing a fairly large event that was coming up. We were discussing all of the logistics and making sure we had everything covered. I looked over to one of my teammates and said, “we need to setup all the gear and make sure everything is working properly.” He responded by saying, “when you say “we,” do you mean me?”

It happened and I didn’t even realize it. I absolutely love my team and I love gathering my team, setting a course and accomplishing a mission together. So, what’s the problem with my team? Nothing. Actually the problem is with me and how I was communicating. Now, I can’t say that I get it right everyday, but I’m now aware of the problem.

In meetings I found myself always saying “we.” ‘WE’ need to accomplish this or ‘WE’ need to accomplish that. Unfortunately I wasn’t communicating well on what needed to be accomplished, and who was going to be responsible for accomplishing it. Here are a few things I’ve become aware of when it come’s to the problem of ‘WE’.

It sets unclear expectations of who’s responsible. 

We’ve all heard the saying about what assuming does. By saying ‘we’ and not actually delegating responsibility, it sets you up for failure and even still the responsibility falls back on your shoulders. The responsibility will always be on your shoulders if you’re the boss. You are responsible for the task being completed but not necessarily physically doing the task.

It reveals insecurities of the leader. 

For me I had to realize that I was in charge, so I needed to be in charge. God called me and placed me where I am, so I need to live out that position to it’s fullest extent. Not in a wrong way, but in the way God has placed me there.

|people want clarity more than they don’t want to be responsible for something|

via @allenwfarr

My team wants me, their boss, to make the decision, have clarity and be decisive about the task at hand much more than they want indecisiveness and unclear expectations of who needs to complete what.

It makes you miss your goals.

If no one is in charge, then how are you ever going to meet your goals? Better yet, how are you even going to know what your goals are? Someone has to be responsible to set the goals and expectations. The truth is, if you’re the boss and you don’t delegate the job clearly, then you are possibly going to be the one doing the work or the work simply won’t get done.

So, using clear expectations about what needs to be completed and communicating to the person or people that need to complete it, will give you the exact results you hoped for.

Are there other problems with ‘WE’ that you’ve seen when communicating with your team?


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