How To Apply CliftonStrengths Responsibility At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Responsibility

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Responsibility Strength?" First, know that StrengthsFinder will help you figure out your potential. We call them natural talents or natural patterns. We know you're here because you want to turn them into superpowers in your career, so here's the gist: People exceptionally talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty. Here's the full list of CliftonStrengths definitions so you can check out your other talents as well.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

CliftonStrengths Responsibility - Learn All About It

These 10-15 minute "Theme Overview" videos give you a peek into the awesomeness of your talent theme. They also explore the idea that talent themes represent potential, yet if they are not invested in, they might show up looking raw and unproductive at work.
These “Talent Deep Dive” videos explore the nuance of each talent theme. You’ll learn about its power and edge. You’ll consider potential blind spots. These are useful videos if you have this talent theme at the top of your list, or if you want to learn about a teammate who leads through Responsibility.

Your Strengths Will Strengthen Your Performance At Work

In the next section, you'll explore what fuels you up and what drains you. Just like gas (or petrol) in your car, you need to keep your personal tank full to be at your best. Each StrengthsFinder talent theme is energized and drained by different things. When you see the stick figure who looks strong, you can consider how these things fuel you up at work. They're your energy makers. When you see the stick figure who looks weak, consider if these things are draining you at work. They're your energy takers.

Yucks for CliftonStrengths Responsibility

What's a Yuck?

It's a situation, condition, or behavior you might see
at work that zaps your energy. Yucks are also things you see on your calendar or to-do list that make you think, "Yuck, if I never had to do that again I'd be thrilled."

Yuck Situations for Responsibility

  • Broken promises — on the giving or receiving side. Both feel horrible.
  • Disappointing people or missing expectations.

How CliftonStrengths Responsibility Can Be Perceived When Starved

What's a Starved Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the shadow side of your talent is showing. It’s when you’re overusing, misapplying, or squashing one of your natural talents rather than turning it into a strength. We often see people starve, squash, or ignore their talent when they assume it is not valued in that role or company culture.

Perceptions of Starved Responsibility

  • Can’t say no
  • Martyr project saver
  • Resents that others don’t volunteer

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Responsibility Feel Insulted

What's An Insulted Talent?

Usually, talents get offended or insulted by other people who have natural preferences that are different from yours. It also happens if they fail to see their actions have an impact on someone else (you!). You can also insult your own talents if you have a "troublemaker strength" that speaks loudly and overpowers this one.

Things That Will Insult Responsibility

  • Give the person false or padded deadlines.
  • Change your priorities and fail to tell the person who leads through Responsibility that their project is no longer important (meanwhile they're off toiling).

Yays for CliftonStrengths Responsibility

What's a Yay?

It's a situation at work that boosts up your energy or makes you feel productive. Yays are also things you see on your calendar or to-do list that make you think, “Yay, fill my days with this."

Yay Situations for Responsibility

  • Showing that your word is your honor, even when the activity seemed impossible to finish when promised.
  • Following through on commitments, and then seeing how it builds more trust and respect.

How CliftonStrengths Responsibility Can Be Perceived When Fed

What's a Fed Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the best version of you shows up at work. It’s when you’ve invested in your natural talents to mature them into strengths. You can feed your talent by considering “how” you approach each “what” on the job. When you apply your talents to productive outcomes, you’re feeding them.

Perceptions of Fed Responsibility

  • Brings accountability to team
  • Deadline hitter
  • Dependable

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Responsibility Feel Honored

What's An Honored Talent?

Usually, talents feel honored when other people acknowledge your needs and potential contributions. Talents feel honored when someone “extends an olive branch” to help you work at your best. You can also honor your own talents by investing in them, by choosing work that naturally calls on them, or by applying your strengths to performance on the job.

Things That Will Honor Responsibility

  • Allow them to earn full ownership of outcomes.
  • Offer respect and trust that matches the dependability and results this person brings to the team.

Personal Brand - "How" Responsibility Operates At Work

Most people have a good handle on "What" they bring to the workplace. Resumes, CVs, and career development conversations are filled with lists of skills and job titles that show "what" you can do. Nearly everyone misses the "How".

Your Clifton StrengthsFinder talent themes help you communicate "How" you show up. It's how you think. It's how you feel. It's how you act. These are huge differences in each person that are differentiators on the job. Consider these adjectives you might want to consciously put into your personal branding efforts.

We recommend working a "How" description into the Summary section in your LinkedIn profile (if you don't yet use that section, don't worry, most people haven't paid attention to it until now). Of course, make up adjectives or phrases that describe you at your best. Try to avoid words like "motivated, self-starter" because they're so overused that you'll blend in with everyone else. Here are some ideas to spark your thinking:

  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Diligent
  • Dependable
  • Driven
  • Accountable
  • Conscientious
  • Dutiful
  • Honest
  • Service-oriented
  • Committed
  • Volunteer
  • Word is Honor
  • Responsive
  • Owner of work

How To Invest In Your Responsibility Talent On The Job

  • Push yourself to say “no.” Because you are instinctively responsible, it might sometimes be very difficult to refuse opportunities. For this reason you must be selective. Ask for more responsibility in only the areas that matter most to you.
  • Keep volunteering for more responsibility than your experience seems to warrant. You thrive on Responsibility and can deal with it very effectively.
  • Align yourself with others who share your sense of Responsibility. You will thrive on the feeling of being surrounded by hands as strong as your own.
  • Tell your manager that you work best when given the independence and freedom to follow through on your commitments. Tell your manager that you don’t need to check in during a project, just at the end. You can be trusted to get it done.
  • Take time to enjoy the completion of your commitments. Responsibility is a source of motivation for you.
  • Partner with someone with a strong Discipline or Focus theme. This person can help you stay on track and prevent you from becoming overloaded.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The Responsibility Talent

  • This person defines himself by his ability to live up to his commitments. It will be intensely frustrating for him to work around people who don’t. As far as possible try to avoid putting him in team situations with lackadaisical teammates.
  • He defines himself by the quality of his work. He will resist if you force him to rush his work so much that quality suffers. He dislikes sacrificing quality for speed.
  • In discussing his work, talk about its quality first.
  • Recognize that he is a self-starter and requires little supervision to ensure that assignments are completed.
  • Put him in positions requiring unimpeachable ethics. He will not let you down.
  • Periodically ask him what new responsibility he would like to assume. It is motivational for him to volunteer, so give him the opportunity.
  • Protect him from taking on too much, particularly if he lacks a theme such as Discipline. Help him see that one more burden may result in his dropping the ball, a notion he will loathe.

What To Consider When Partnering With A Colleague Who Leads Through Responsibility

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you need to give someone an outcome and you can’t be around to check in on the progress.
  • When you need someone who absolutely keeps their promises, you can partner with this person with full confidence. Their integrity and their word is everything to them.
  • Call on them when you need a partner who follows through on commitments. When you have an urgent project and you don’t have a lot of time to build trust, this person usually earns it very quickly.

Turn Responsibility Into A Strength This Month By Making It Your Phone Lock Screen

Responsibility Talent Theme LockscreenClick on this thumbnail image of your StrengthsFinder talent theme to link to the full size image. Then save it to your phone or mobile device as your lock screen.

That way, you’ll be reminded of your plan to focus on that talent…oh…about 98 times per day when you unlock your phone. What a great way to keep your intention front-of-mind! This will help you remember to invest in this talent theme so you can take the untapped potential and turn the natural talent into a strength.

Who knew wallpaper images could be so valuable to your career?! Here are all of the lock screen images if you want to grab an image for a different CliftonStrengths talent.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

Take The 12-Week Strengths Challenge

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Note: if you're on this page because you're taking one of our strengths classes, you might also be getting an "Activation Course" with that program. This is a heads-up that signing up for this challenge would give you 2 strengths emails per week if you're already slated for the "Activation Course."

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