Encouraging Responsibilities

Role allocation

The way Team Leaders communicate the allocation of roles can have an effect on whether team members fully accept responsibility for their roles.

In order to encourage team members to accept the responsibility for their assigned roles, the Team Leader should facilitate two way communication that allows the team members to provide feedback. It is also a good idea to allow team members to become involved in the process of allocating roles as this is likely to lead to the acceptance of responsibility.

Initial communication about role allocation should involve face to face meetings where the Team Leader and the team members can openly discuss roles and responsibilities. The team members should be made to feel comfortable enough to become fully involved in the discussion and openly express their opinions, beliefs and preferences.

When the decision on role allocation has been made, hopefully with input from team members, the Team leader should communicate the information in such a way that:

  • The message is complete and specific

  • The expectations for each role are clarified and documented for use in the Performance Appraisal process

  • Each team member understands their role and the roles of their team mates

  • Ongoing feedback from team members is encouraged


When communicating role allocation Team Leaders need to employ effective interpersonal communication, which ensures that the intended message is received and understood by the recipient.

Some strategies to improve interpersonal communication include:

  • Feedback

  • Assertion

  • 'I' statements


Feedback helps ensure that both the sender and the recipient take the same meaning from an interaction. Feedback allows the recipient to question a communication and clarify their understanding.


Assertive behaviour involves individuals being able to express their point of view while accepting that others may hold differing opinions. Assertive behaviour encourages open, honest communication between parties.

'I' Statements

Using 'I' statements allows the sender to build empathy with the recipient and to take ownership of their messages. 'I' statements are also a useful tool for promoting assertion. For example, "I feel frustrated when you do not complete a task. Perhaps I could help by providing guidance."


If you would like to read more about understanding your communication style look at the following resources:


world wide web

Understanding Your Communication Style


Try This

Enter your Breakout Room and access the discussion titled Using Communication to Encourage Responsibility.

Think of a time you have been part of a team or group. Were you encouraged to take responsibility for your role in the team? If you were encouraged to take responsibility how was this done? Was communication used? If so, what communication methods were employed? If you were not encouraged to take responsibility for your role who do you believe should have encouraged you to take responsibility? Is it just the role of the Team Leader to encourage responsibility or do other team members have a role to play?