Cooperation is crucially important and is part of the satisfaction in business life. But if collaboration is starting to push your limits, you find yourself in an enslaved position. Do not take responsibility for others. Understanding your situation is a little easier if you are in an organization where responsibilities are clearly defined. On the other hand, if there are no clear definitions, you need to tread with care.
So, how do we know whether the situation we are in is mutual aid or enslavement?
You can tell whether or not helping your colleague improves their behavior by looking at your situation. For example, good behavior would be where, with your help, your colleague overcame a serious problem, learned something, and your work as a team accelerated and at the end of the day, if your colleague was in the same situation again, you wasn’t sure here if it was with your help (again) or if they could do it themselves.… If you see good behavior and, most importantly, if you get similar help, continue to help. You are a good teammate.
Conversely, an example of bad behavior would be if your colleague didn’t learn what they had to learn as a result of your help and just wasted time for themselves, and made a habit of asking you to help them with their own responsibility – always coming to you with a problem and always with an excuse… in this case, you should stop helping, because then you would be becoming a slave. Do not take responsibility for others!
If responsibilities are not clear!
If responsibilities are not clear in the workplace, you should first ask for responsibilities to be defined. Usually this does not provide an immediate solution, but it is an important step, because you will need clarification of responsibilities in the next step. You need to make it clear that you will no longer be taking on jobs outside your defined responsibilities. But then surely you can be persuaded, can’t you? It wouldn’t be hard to guess your question.
Will they be offended, will they be angry, or hurt, you may wonder?
At this point, try to look at it from a different angle. Is your low self-esteem worth your unhappiness caused by overwork? Your colleague may indeed get angry, lose their temper or dislike you. But if you have become little more than a servant, it is not possible to talk about a healthy love. Make your choice.
- To be a confident and helpful teammate?
Or to lose popularity, to escape the anger of the other party – to be a slave to fear?
If you have coworkers who you think are not malicious while constantly burdening you with work, the solution is to set out your feelings clearly and communicate openly. You have to learn to say, “It’s not my job, it’s your job, and this time I won’t do it. If you manage your time and business plan more effectively next time, you won’t have any problems”. It is important here to draw clear boundaries. For a colleague who truly values you, this feedback will create awareness.
You should not explain why you can’t help, and you should avoid implying that actually you could help.
The crux of the issue is that it is their job, not yours. For more help to be fair workplace with OKR and CFR contact us!