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How many hats do you wear?

21. May 2019 / general

We all perform a lot of different roles in our lives – depending on our age, profession, rank, social aspects, etc. Some are roles we have chosen ourselves, others have been ‘assigned’ to us. Which roles are most important to you and how do you perform them? Which roles do you want to reduce and which do you want to expand? This is a fascinating discussion you can hold with yourself.

Every person has a number of roles in life. The German time management expert Lothar Seiwert aptly refers to them as the different ‘hats’ we wear. Many are roles we have chosen ourselves, but not all. We have primary and secondary roles – those we carry out enthusiastically and others more out of a sense of duty. It is impossible to perform all our different roles effectively at the same time. However, we often feel guilty about this and try to do everything perfectly – sometimes to our own detriment.

Some roles are surrounded by negative stereotypes or give rise to exaggerated expectations of how to assume them. Other roles serve as a social marker (e.g. a doctor’s white coat). There are also roles that are shaped by the group objectives and rules connected with them. If individuals do not meet the corresponding expectations, they face the risk of sanctions. Consequently, roles have a major influence on how we lead our lives.


Assuming different hats

It is helpful to become aware of your different roles and how you assume them. Why not do so today? I can well imagine that you may have more hats than you realize. To give you a better understanding of what is meant by roles, I have listed my most important personal roles below (divided into three different categories). Take a look at this list and then create your own list of roles.
I will then ask you a few questions.


Roles assigned to me:


Roles I have chosen for myself:


Role based on my personality or the way I approach things:


Now it is your turn: Draw up your own list of roles and then answer the following questions:



What did you learn from this exercise? Did it make you more aware of how you want to live your life – and do you now want to make changes? Are you satisfied with the roles you have? Listen to yourself and start making changes. I wish you every success and hope you will gain some satisfaction as a result.


© Claudia Kraaz

Buch: Claudia Kraaz – Nachhaltig leistungsfähig bleiben
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