What happens when 3 different people all think that one of the other two is taking care of something? The "something" doesn't get done! That's called "a poorly occupied role." When a role is not occupied, the job doesn't get done and the blaming, regrets, or frustration and stress begins. "No one paid the mortgage, contacted the client, or booked the hotel rooms for the guests ."
If a role is super important, and no one claims ownership, a disaster can happen (ex: paying the bills). If the role is only important to one person and they want another person to do the job, tempers can flare ("Why don't you clean up after yourself!) When there are many things going on at once and the plan is not clear, roles can slip through the cracks (event planning, committee work).
This happened very recently to me and the end result was very disappointing. I have a lot of "if only" feelings. "If only I had realized that the other two weren't doing it, I would have done it." Or, "If only we had cleared this up ahead of time, we would have taken care of it properly."
How can you go through life without "if only's?"
That requires clear communication and developing a plan. Why didn't we create a plan? THAT is an important question. We had a plan that didn't include that role! I suspected things should have been done but never pressed about it. I'm not sure why but I can speculate:
- This is just volunteer work; we didn’t take it seriously.
- I didn't want to be a bother or be pushy.
- I assumed it was being taken care of.
- I didn't feel it was my place (I wasn't in charge.)
- I didn't have time.
- I was avoiding the subject (not my favorite role.)
- Wishful thinking that it would be fine without worrying about it.
Well, the wishful thinking wasn't enough. And hoping the role was covered didn't work out either. Next time, there will be a better plan in place and lots of clear communication.