Responsibility® Theme (CliftonStrengths®, formerly StrengthsFinder®)

Responsibility® Theme CliftonStrengths® StrengthsFinder®
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Gallup CliftonStrengths® is an assessment of personality, rooted in the theory of positive psychology. Research indicates that people who know and use their strengths every day are more likely to experience positive emotions (energy, happiness, respect) and less likely to experience negative emotions (stress, worry, anger, sadness). The assessment identifies an individual’s top five “Signature Themes” from a list of 34 common talents. Individuals can then develop those talents into strengths, and apply those strengths in all areas of their life.

Overview of the Responsibility® Strength

We’ve all heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm,” and as someone with a strong Responsibility® theme, you take this to the next level. Not only do you arrive early but you’ll also often stay late– you’ve got a lot cover on your very full plate! You don’t like saying no to someone who needs your help on projects or proposals, and consequently, you can end up overcommitted. Once you’ve given your word, however, you’ll follow through– even if you’re burning the midnight oil to do so.  

Action Items for the Responsibility® Strength

Choose the right job. If it feels like someone’s continuously watching you at work, you’re likely not in the right element. You’re going to get the work done, so make sure your manager sees things that way, too. Look for a job that offers a sense of autonomy in the workplace.

Pick the right partners. With your strong desire to get things done, you’ll do well partnered with someone with lots of Focus® talent. They can help keep you on task as you knock things off your list. They’ll also help keep you balanced by maintaining a reasonable workload.

Enjoy the act of finishing. If you’re juggling several things at once, it can be difficult to step back and admire your accomplishments when continuous deadlines loom. But completing a task or project is no small feat. Take a moment to congratulate yourself for your hard work and honoring your commitments.

Try saying no. It’s in your nature to take on lots of responsibility, but sometimes this can do more harm than good. When someone asks you to start a new project or task, pause for a moment to consider the whole package. Is this an area of work that matters to you? If not, it’s okay to decline the opportunity.

How to Manage Someone with the Responsibility® Strength

It’s rare we can take what others say at face value, but with Responsibility®, you don’t have to second guess at all– you know they’ll keep their word. If they commit to something, they’ll do whatever it takes to see it through. Because they feel a strong obligation to help others and struggle to say no, projects can quickly add up and work levels snowball. To maximize their potential and keep them out of the weeds, follow these three tips:

Keep an eye on their workload. People strong in the Responsibility® theme feel, well, a responsibility to take on a lot. They may have trouble saying no to new projects, so be mindful of their workload. If it seems like they’re nearing a tipping point, don’t hesitate to intervene and delegate a task elsewhere. You’ll help them avoid being unable to finish a deliverable on time, which would really drive them crazy.

Offer positive feedback. Those with a high Responsibility® talent take pride in a job well done. When your employee turns in work, compliment its quality. They’ll be even more motivated to tackle their next task.

Provide plenty of time. Apply the tortoise and the hare analogy here. Responsibility® is the tortoise. Rushed deadlines result in shoddy work, so give them plenty of time to get things done. You’ll see great results in the long run.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths® theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. For more information, or to take the CliftonStrengths® assessment, visit