Here is a process that can be used to help people gain clarity about overlapping roles and responsibilities. I have developed this exercise to help executives (e.g. CEOs vs COOs) gain clarity about what they are supposed to do and what they are not supposed to do, particularly in situations where people are stepping on each others’ toes. It can be used in a variety of other settings including the family, schools, and hospitals- anywhere there is role confusion.
Steps For The Process
Below are the steps to using this process with a company whose CEO and COO were stepping on each others’ toes over roles and responsibilities. The CEO and COO work together with a neutral, third party who serves as facilitator.
- Independently they each fill out the chart above, vis-à-vis one another.
- Once they have both completed the chart, they sit down with the facilitator to compare their notes.
- Each time a disagreement about what their jobs are, or are not, the facilitator records them on a separate sheet of paper titled, “Differences to be Resolved”.
- After reviewing the answers, the third party leads a discussion to help the two resolve their differences.
- Once the discussion has concluded, the CEO and COO write a new document together, clarifying their roles.