There are so many people you may refer to as being irresponsible today but when you take a closer look at them, you will find that it’s different thing entirely. A few people don’t have to wait for others to give them responsibility before they take them up and are producing results. Yet you have some other people who can produce equal results or even better results when you place a demand on their abilities through responsibilities.
Don’t be too quick to judge that some people are irresponsible. Have you given them responsibilities? Have you tried them in some roles before that they failed you? Even when it looks like some people are acting irresponsibly and do not want to be committed in anyway, I have seen such people change after being forced to take responsibilities.
One of the things I have come to understand is that even the people you refer to as irresponsible want to be perceived as responsible people. They will be willing to make a difference or change something when you let them know what you expect of them rather than just telling them what you see on the outside.
From the teenage level to the adult level, I have seen people change just because someone trusts them well enough to ask them to take up roles no one was willing to give them. If you have people in your team that do not look responsible, the way to change them is not to wait and hope they change. You keep them in the process and engage them. The only way you will make progress with changing such people is to commit some responsibilities to them and give them credit for everything they do well.
When you give someone credit for doing something well and also praise them openly, they get to do more. Once they taste some form of open accolade and victory, they will want more of it. At first they want more of the applause that you are giving to them for doing little things well but somewhere along the line, you gradually make them understand their performance is no longer about the applause. It is now about the expectation and they cannot afford to perform any less.
You have to be patient with some people and be willing to take them through the change process. They will be willing to go with you but you also have to be careful about the methods you are adopting to take them through the change process.
It might be hard to condemn them and expect them to change. There are not too many people who change just because they got some negative feedback. In fact, what most people do is to rebel. When you give them your feedback by mixing the complaints with the compliments, you are likely to get more results from them.
In giving people responsibility so as to refine them, please note that not all of them will eventually change just because of the responsibility. Those that will change should be constantly encouraged and rather than complaining about their weaknesses, you can encourage them to improve. Talk to them about how much more they can do if only they improve in an area.
For you, this may cut across as coaching but the more important thing is to note that even people who appear as irresponsible and nobody wants on their team can become responsible. Give them a chance, give them a platform and they will give you the needed results!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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