According to GallupⓇ , the #1 strength in American women is ResponsibilityⓇ . It is #2 in American men behind AchieverⓇ . When a strength like ResponsibilityⓇ is prevalent with a team or entire culture, then it begins to represent a value. For instance, I have worked with multiple teams where more than 75% of the team had ResponsibilityⓇ in their top 5. When you see that, you know that getting things done and following through on your word is not just an individual, but a team and cultural value.
Team members without ResponsibilityⓇ in their Top 5 will be influenced by such a responsible environment. If someone is high in relationship building domain, they may work to meet deadlines out of respect and appreciation for their coworkers. If someone is high in the influencing domain, they can feed off the responsible system and culture of the workplace and support the team as responsibly as they can. If someone is high in strategic thinking, they may appreciate the efficiency and predictability of coworkers that get things done when they say they will be done and can happily work that into their decision-making. If someone is high in other executing strengths, they may appreciate the reliability of their team and revel in a to-do list haven.
Since I see ResponsibilityⓇ so frequently in teams, I have found three recommendations to consistently hold true.
1- Host ResponsibilityⓇ support groups. It is in a responsible person’s nature to volunteer and help everywhere they can. But, this can often lead to responsibilities driving people’s lives as opposed to the individuals. Symptoms of this type of ResponsibilityⓇ basement are burn out, depression, and no time for self-care.
So, how can we support our ResponsibilityⓇ friends? People with ResponsibilityⓇ find a lot of satisfaction in taking care of people and tasks, so sometimes it is difficult to let go and ask for help (Think about taking care of a family member. They want to do that!) As a friend or colleague, encourage them to rely on you for help. If they still don’t ask for help, just start helping wherever you can! Bring them lunch. Wash their car. Every little bit helps. And, encourage them to say no when they are overwhelmed.
In a ResponsibilityⓇ support group, individuals can set goals and hold each other accountable to address their basements. It can be a kind, nurturing way to encourage self-preservation in one another. It can also be a potential outlet for one of the most elusive things for ResponsibilityⓇ folks—FUN! Remember what that is?
2- The biggest oxymoron is that the hallmarks of the ResponsibilityⓇ balcony– quality and completion of tasks– can being to suffer when people are overwhelmed and have neglected to take care of themselves. To address this, I encourage people with ResponsibilityⓇ to consider time, energy, and quality as limited resources. Before taking on a new task, ask yourself if the time and quality dedicated to other tasks can decline. This can help you frame quality over quantity of tasks.
For example, am I okay spending one less hour with my kids so I can do more work at home? If the answer is no, do not beat yourself up for being irresponsible with work. Rather, you are being responsible with your commitments to your family. In fact, many European countries have found that eliminating homework leads to more productivity in the workplace. So, it would be the responsible thing to try out that research in your life! 😉
3- With any of the 34 strengths, it can be difficult to find common ground with people who have your top strengths in their bottom 30, but this is particularly true for ResponsibilityⓇ . Since it is so profusive in American culture, many people with ResponsibilityⓇ start to expect it in everyone around them and are quickly frustrated with people that don’t follow through on their word.
Here, CliftonStrengthsⓇ can be helpful with a paradigm shift. Instead of expecting others to be like you, make it your responsibility to appreciate and understand people for their different talents because they can bring balance to your life! There is truth in the maxim “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” You could use your ResponsibilityⓇ to help people complete tasks on time, and they can help you in other ways, too!
Obviously, there is a lot to say about ResponsibilityⓇ . Join next week for part two of the conversation with Rosie the Riveter, Jesus, and the only two perfect people on this planet today—my grandparents.
Clifton StrengthsFinder® is a registered trademark of Gallup, Inc. The non-Gallup information you are receiving has not been approved and is not sanctioned or endorsed by Gallup® in any way. Opinions, views, and interpretations of Clifton StrengthsFinder® are solely the beliefs of Stronger Not Harder.