Roles and Responsibilities, from holidays to work
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Roles and Responsibilities, from holidays to work
Do you ever apply some learnings from your personal life to your professional life? So far, I used to do it the other way around but my last holidays in a group of 15 friends opened my mind. Let me tell you this little story…
Usual holidays with friends & families
You may have also experienced it several times: when you are renting a place with friends or family for a few days, it usually takes less than 48 hours for the natural - and potentially frustrating - law of roles and responsibilities to come and say hi.
While some people will organize and execute almost everything, others might consider they do not have a role to play (or a very limited one). Some will want to lead everything, while some would rather follow the flow.
It would be great if everything squares so perfectly that everybody is happy in their natural roles and responsibilities, but obviously this is not always the case: the ones who will take a bigger role to ‘help’ others will feel frustrated while paradoxically encouraging others to maintain the situation. This is how you find 2 or 3 folks cooking for everyone or taking care of the kids while others would rather polish their tan at the pool.
New holidays with friends & families
This year, a member of the group brought a fresh and inspiring air to our usual ways. We actually realized how few easy rules can change the game and balance roles and responsibilities in a very smooth way, making everyone happier (even the ones who were not the biggest actors in the usual model). As a disclaimer, no magic here, the ‘rules’ below are potentially already applied in your case, but I hope it may inspire some of us.
- Randomly pick some duos/ trios, assigning each of them to a specific meal (lunch or dinner), from food purchasing to cooking, serving and cleaning (yes, the full package). On top of balancing those tasks, offering you the luxury to enjoy fully your well deserved holiday when not assigned to a meal, it also naturally builds creativity and generosity within each group, trying to impress the other ones. Add a little competition with grades and a sexy wine case as a prize and you have the perfect recipe for a fun week for everyone.
- When it comes to activities, organize a doodle, asking every guest to share their expertise or passion while translating it to an activity during the week. A great swimmer can then teach little dolphins to better breathe, an amateur jockey will book for a group horse ride, a wine lover will organize a tasting, a gamer will organize a competition, a bookworm will plan a museum visit, …. While bringing complementarity and diversity, it will highlight with pride the skills of each person, potentially allowing the group to know each other a bit better and most importantly, making the ‘attendees’ learn something new every day.
From holidays to work
So, you may argue that it can’t apply to work, having specific hierarchy rules and not concerning group tasks such as cooking or sharing hobbies. Well, even if it is not about mirroring a moment with friends & families, I believe that each of us can influence our daily life at work to make it better and more efficient.
How? I’m sure you will find your way as it has to come from you and your interests, but we can think about:
- Roles & Responsibilities basics: defining a specific process to allocate roles and responsibilities per project so everybody knows their exact scope and owned part before starting a project.
- Leadership basics: start a relationship with 100% of trust, letting your teams fully lead their project – while being available for support and coaching if needed – and then ensure a proper feedback process once the project is finalized so they can integrate the recommendation for the next one.
- Diversity basics: if anyone in your team is passionate about, let’s say, management and negotiation skills, let him implement a monthly newsletter, a what’s app group or some dedicated sessions to share his knowledge with a broader audience. If you have the chance to have a digital rock star in your team, let him led a training session for ‘digital newbies’ in the broader team. And well, if you have a pastry chef in your accounting team, his secret recipes might only bring joy to his colleagues, so let’s not be shy!
- To go the extra mile: build some “parallel project” teams, picking various profiles from diverse positions and roles to make them work on a selected topic. It can be called ‘battle’ or ‘run’ and is supposed to be done in parallel of the current job of each team member, with a dedicated time assigned in their workload (as half a day per week). When planned for a short period of time (max 2 months) and presented to the top management, for them to apply right away if approved, trust me, this is where the magic comes to life and I can share I’ve seen some topics being solved and some solutions being tested way faster than usual.