Claire writes: “The more we listen in organisations, the more we hear how much people are passing responsibility to others, taking too much of it for themselves or refusing to pick it up.  It’s as though organisations and businesses are full of bouncing balls.  When people catch them, they pass them on really fast to someone else.  And then the music stops, the ball turns into a bomb and explodes, and everyone else steps back while the one left holding it carries the can.  One organisation we work in describes it as throwing cats over walls.

And yet, if we work in a team, it’s not about MY responsibility or YOURS anyway, it is about OURS.  Consistently changing the language of conversations can really help to begin to change a culture.

That means a shift to we language from

  • What do you want me to do? -> It would help me if we could think…
  • I want you to -> What do we need to do here so that you feel ready/able to do that?
  • You have to… -> What needs to happen so that you feel equipped enough to?
  • This is what’s happened -> How can we manage this in the best way possible?

Shifting from I/You to we can stop there being quite so many unexploded bombs. It’s part of the coaching toolkit”

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