Monday, 2 November 2020

Pass the Buck - no responsibility

One of the most annoying things I find in life is to come across people who "pass the buck". 

It seems that a growing number, particularly in the public sector like to get out of their responsibilities and pass them on to others. I suppose the age-old fact remains that if people can get away with shirking their duties, some will take advantage of it. 

The larger the organisation and the more prevalent this can become. We have to lay blame not just with those who "pass the buck", but also with managers who are not aware of what their colleagues are doing or how much work each day they are capable of. Without good management, those with a disposition to be lazy will get away with it.

It is believed the term "pass the buck" orginated in the wild west in the card game, Poker. Players didn't trust each other and so would rotate the dealer. The person dealing would be given a knife to indicate they were dealing and knives genrally had a buck horn handle and hence the term "pass the buck" was created.

It could also be that some who pass on their responsibilities do so, not out of laziness, but out of a lack of confidence. It could well be they have been poorly trained or given tasks that are simply too difficult or too large for them, but in each case, fear to let their managers know they can't cope. If this is the case, the organisation needs to look at its work culture to make sure everyone can freely talk about their workload.

In my experience, the majority of people who like to "pass the buck" fall into the category of wanting to have an easier life and let others do their work. They also don't like the idea of getting into trouble if anything goes wrong but are usually quick to claim any praise when it is forthcoming. 

How do you deal with people who are like this? Please leave a comment in the box below.

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