It’s not your responsibility

“It’s not your responsibility” is a phrase I have been saying a lot recently to my clients. People give their colleagues, managers, peers or customers ‘get out of jail free’ cards because they decide they ‘look really busy’ or they decide the ‘customer won’t be able to afford the offering’ – without considering that it isn’t their responsibility to make these decisions – without first discussing it with the other party. We all know what making an assumption does but in this case it will result in extra workloads, poorly managed staff or lost business.


It’s not your responsibility…………… to decide if your manager is too busy so that you accept the fact you are being poorly managed or not having your appraisal on time. Instead, you need to have a discussion with your manager or expect them to not cancel your appraisal for the nth time because they are ‘too busy’. After all, shouldn’t they be ‘too busy’ doing their job? Which in this case is ensuring your appraisal takes place in a timely manner.

It’s not your responsibility…………… to decide if a customer can afford your service or not. If this type of thinking is your starting point then you are either going to lower your prices (based on assumption) or lose the customer. Instead, discuss their budgets early on, sell the value of what you do and then look them in the eye as you tell them the (fair) price you are charging for your product or service. You will probably surprise yourself and find they don’t blink an eyelid!

It’s not your responsibility…………… to decide a member of your team looks really busy so you don’t delegate a task to them. And if they tell you they are too busy to do the task (that their job function should be owning and doing) then sit down with them, review their workload to help them prioritise, remove bottlenecks and have a reasonable expectation as to how long tasks should take, and expect them to do the task!

So next time your mind-reading kicks in and you decide ‘they are too busy’ or ‘they won’t be able to afford it’ remember it’s not your responsibility to make these decisions or assumptions, instead go and talk to them!

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