If you regularly say “we” when you mean “you” that’s worth stopping to think about.
If you want something to happen but you would like someone else to take care of it, it’s best to just let them know.
This is active versus passive language. If you say “we” you are somehow cushioning the blow. Because if you say “you” and they say “no” you might have to do it yourself. And you might not want to. For a million reasons. But you don’t want the other person to feel that you don’t care.
But you do care. You care a lot!
Which means it’s time to practice owning what you care about by practicing direct language.
“We’ve agreed that this needs to happen and I don’t have the time/energy/resources to take care of it. Will you please make it happen?”
Or… “We’ve both agreed this needs to happen. Will you please take care of this part and I’ll take care of the other?”
Most people, most of the time prefer to know where you stand.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.