The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Appropriate responsibility

Charles was trying to make sure that everything would go well. He wanted nothing more than to make sure that the team stayed successful. He had invested a tremendous amount of energy in making sure that their financing was secured and had been successful. What he hadn’t paid attention to, were the consequences of his investment. Now, he was slowly realizing a growing sense that his reputation was linked to their success.

Not only that, as time had moved on, the team had changed and had lost sight of the work he had done in the past. The trust he had established with previous teams was slowly fading away.

The new team on the other hand saw Charles as an established value. They saw him as an important asset and didn’t make themselves aware of the trust needed to work together effectively. They forgot to invest in trust, that is, to invest in the changed relationship. They had known one another for a while and assumed that it was sufficient.

Slowly the relationship was falling apart. Charles, hoping for recognition, was starting to work more and take up more tasks allowing him to feel like a massive contributor to the team’s success. However, the more he paid attention to the quality of the work done and the need to secure everyone’s reputation, the more the team felt that it was watched closely. They couldn’t discern help from control anymore and started to become suspicious.

They had moved into the roles of an unfolding drama. By trying to guarantee success Charles had stepped into a savior role. By forgetting to invest in the relationship and assessing support as control, the team had taken up a persecution role.

Given that preparation, the drama was preparing itself. How it would unfold was up to the actors to play out. The spectators remained put as they were not sure yet, who would end up as the victim.

What none of the actors had in mind, was to step back and think about appropriate responsibility. As they all remained stuck in their roles, they never questioned the drama.

Stepping back would have required stepping out of the role and regulating responsibilities together. By staying in their respective roles, they all tried to find an answer to their responsibility on their own. However, an answer to what the appropriate responsibility is can only be found together.

And it starts by sharing if one feels supported or controlled as well as if one sees oneself supporting others or needing to control them. If sharing is paired with listening, trust can be re-established, to then decide together on the responsibility that feels appropriate and reciprocal.



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