CliftonStrengths®: Responsibility® – Can people count on you?

by | Dec 2, 2018 | Strengths

CliftonStrengths® defines this theme as “taking psychological ownership of what they say they will do, they are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.”

You say yes, or avoid it

Yeah, you’re the one that says yes and takes on whatever that is until completion. For many of you, it’s a life-long lesson to learn to say “no” as you often offer up “yes,” and people know they can count on you to get things done.

Balancing the yes and no is super important for you, and you may need help.

To me, it’s been a talent theme that has created an overload in life. I’ve said “yes” to too much and pushed myself over the top to get things done. Again, other themes influence here, like Achiever®, which is all about performance and working hard, and Activator®, who is always ready to leap and take action.

What I have observed with others sharing this theme is that it’s you tend to be the automatic “yes” people or the complete opposite – the ones not jumping in. You take your word seriously.

Keeping a balance is key

You thrive when you take responsibility for the things that matter the most. The flip side is to keep a balance because of this. When you say yes to everything, it’ll stress many of you out as you’ve given your word to it, which means you will do it.

It’s OK to say “no” now and then. Make sure you don’t overcommit to work, so you have time for the fun stuff.

It’s so easy to give the “responsible” one the projects or to-do’s because you know you can count on them getting things done and consider that spreading the balance on the team is helping everyone grow. Having said that, placing someone with Responsibility® in a role where these talents can be utilized as a part of their daily “tasks” will help you thrive.

Freedom to work independently is important

Many with the Responsibility® talent have high ethical standards and capacities to function independently. In fact, you need the freedom to take ownership and bring dependability. Not delivering on your word is something you’ll avoid at all cost.

I used to joke about how the word “no” has been the hardest word for me to say, especially at work. In my personal life, I’m not one to be guilted into doing anything–so good luck trying this on me. I feel I have more choice there for some reason.

In my personal life, I can easily say no, but at work, I’ve found myself saying yes… because… ownership.

It’s a trust theme

This theme creates trust as people know they can count on you and will communicate if you need help or see something that needs to change to honor the commitment made.

You bring loyalty and appreciate it in others. Having friends and co-workers that share this sense of commitment will nurture you and create strong bonds.

As a manager and leader with Responsibility®, your ability to be your word can be used to build a team that inspires improvement and performance.

You have their back

To me, this theme is also used to look out for and help the people I care about by having their back, looking out for their blind spots when it comes to commitments made that are about to fall through.

As a manager and person, you take ownership of your team in addition to what your part is, whether it’s work or your family. This helps create an environment where people feel comfortable coming to you for help.

You bring stability to partnerships. You naturally have the ability to gut check and help yourself and others to remember the commitments that have been made. Can you still deliver what was promised as a team or individually? Are tweaks needed due to unforeseen circumstances?


Do you have Responsibility® as one of your dominant talents? Are you a yes person, or do you avoid saying yes? Please comment below; I’d love to know.

Are you curious about what your talents might be? CLICK HERE for more information about the CliftonStrengths® Assessment or HERE for the BP10™ Assessment.

Lastly, visit Gallup’s YouTube channel for more information on the CliftonStrengths® theme of Responsibility® HERE.

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