Body language tells you a lot. I was working with a team some time ago and the way they sat at the meeting was reflective of each individual’s willingness to take on responsibility.
We were talking about some future projects that had to happen and we were breaking the projects down into individual tasks. Responsibility for the tasks was being allocated to team members. I was observing each team member. Some were literally sitting back, even leaning back. Others were leaning in.
Without getting hung up on body language, there was a correlation between their body position and their willingness to accept responsibility. Those leaning back were the ones reluctant to put their hand up. Those leaning in were doing the opposite.
There has been a lot written about the difference between leaders and followers and even the difference between managers and leaders (you might be interested in the Manager 2 Leader workshop!).
One difference I am certain of is that leaders step up. They actually love responsibility. Followers, on the other hand, sit back and wait for someone to take charge.
What would it be like at your place if more people were stepping up instead of sitting back? Our Manager 2 Leader workshop makes that happen. Let me know if we can help.