Work Traits

Sharing Responsibility

Sharing responsibility at work is especially useful for collaborating effectively with others. It can also be helpful for those who plan to co-found a business.
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What is sharing responsibility?

Sharing responsibility refers to how much you enjoy sharing responsibility with others, either as a co-founder, an employer or an employee.

Having high levels of Shared Responsibility means you’re a natural teamplayer. It’s really important for you to share information with your coworkers and update them about any news or progress made. You love pitching in to help and love mutual cooperation: collaborating with others makes you feel part of something bigger.

When dealing with someone who dislikes sharing responsibility at work, you may feel excluded or bothered if they don’t seem as transparent, open and inclusive as you are.

We call it: Shared Responsibility

Your level of motivation for sharing ownership of goals, tasks and projects.

Taking part in the world is really about sharing responsibility.

Olafur Eliasson

Leaders who enjoy sharing responsibility at work

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is well-known for her altruistic and selfless behavior. The Pakistani activist for female education fought the Taliban and even got shot — but that didn’t keep her from continuing her battle.

Malala believes educating girls is a collective responsibility. “Whether it’s media or business or government, (...) it’s a responsibility we should all realize, we can all participate in this and we can all contribute to this”, she said in an interview.

Christopher Avery

The well-known speaker and mentor on responsible leadership says “An ownership gap persists in most organizations where people are focused on their individual roles as opposed to optimizing the whole”. 

In his coaching sessions and books, he teaches leaders and managers how to share responsibility and put this motivation ahead of ‘role-accountability’. He believes companies who adopt his methods tend to become “more collaborative, mutually supportive and holistic in their approach to problem-solving”.

Christopher Avery
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Hellen Keller

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” is a famous quote by Hellen Keller, the renowned deaf-blind activist who founded American Civil Liberties Union and fought for disability rights and women’s suffrage throughout her whole life.

Helen believed when people work together on a common goal, they are able to achieve outcomes beyond their expectations. For her, life was more exciting when she was doing something that benefited other people — and she inspired millions of others to do the same.

The benefits of sharing responsibility at work

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Team Player

You feel a sense of connection to team activities, challenges and goals. You love helping others and always share information with your colleagues.

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Collaborative Decision-Maker

You love discussing ideas and thrive in business partnerships. When it comes to making decisions, you believe everyone has a saying and deserves to be heard.

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You’re transparent and always update others about any progress or news related to your business. You value candor in others.

The blind spots of sharing responsibility at work

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You may find it difficult to manage projects by yourself and take ownership. To avoid this, try being responsible for one small task at a time.

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You may feel uncertain when you need to work on something by yourself. Try taking these opportunities to start trusting your own judgment more.

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Leading others may not come easily for you. To improve this, you can read books on leadership and use your natural people-skills to become a great manager.

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How to start sharing responsibility at work

1) Invite someone to join you

The next time you have a new idea or plan to start a project, think of someone who could help you be successful. E.g.: Your coworker who is an incredible designer could be just as excited with your ideas about opening a creative studio; or your long-standing friend may be just as interested as you are in selling properties.

2) Listen more

Ask for your colleagues’ input more often and actively listen to their experiences and advice. Remember: you don’t have to follow it or do as they say, but you may learn a thing or two along the way. You can also try sharing more information with your coworkers and let them know how your tasks are going.

3) Help with small tasks

You may feel like you’re meddling, but people will probably appreciate it if you offer to help. Sometimes they may even need it and not know how to ask. This can be one of your first steps towards becoming someone who enjoys sharing responsibility at work and isn’t embarrassed to ask for help or offer it.

4) Team games

Playing team games can help you become a better team player at work. It will make you understand the power of a collective effort and you will realize sometimes one person can’t do it all. It will also make you trust others more and see everyone’s capabilities in a better light. After all, as the saying goes, ‘together, we are stronger’.

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