This year at Purple Ink, we decided to use one of our CliftonStrengths® for our word of the year. I’ve been focusing on my strengths for about 5 years, and I decided to go into my 8th strength, Responsibility. A lot of my strengths focus on relationships, and I feel like those are “no brainers” for me. Responsibility is a strength that I relate to, and it’s a strength that I really want to engage more intentionally.
Strengths are put into different domains: Strategic, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Executing. Responsibility is in the Executing domain. In my top 10, I lead with Relationship Building strengths, but because those come so naturally to me, I want to focus more on getting stuff done. I am always going and doing, but being intentional in what I do and how I spend my time needs to be developed.
Many people have a bucket list, but sometimes I feel like mine is a bottomless bucket list. I want to do things, experience things, and spend time with people, but what drives my choices sometimes is feeling that I “need” to do things. A bottomless bucket list can be overwhelming and sometimes hard to focus on what is really important to me. Responsibility can help me decide how to spend my time to better meet my needs and those of my “stakeholders.” In the end, because relationships are the most important thing to me, exercising my Responsibility can be focused on what is going to help those relationships.
Paraphrasing from Gallup, Responsibility means that you take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. If for some reason you can’t deliver, you look for ways to make it up to the person.
I love that description, and I wish I could say that I never mess up or fail people, but sometimes I do. Rest assured that when I do fail, I am my harshest critic. It’s interesting, because my desire to execute and get stuff done means that sometimes I’m moving very fast and sometimes my speed means a typo in an email. This can haunt me, and this, I need to get over. My desire to be responsible sometimes means I can take on too much as well.
This year, using my responsibility theme I will:
As I write this, we are in the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic and the term “responsibility” has new meaning. Are we overreacting? How conservative do we need to be? Are we irresponsible if we go out to eat? This is unprecedented in my lifetime. I’m going to be channeling my Responsibility theme even though my need for social interaction is at the core of who I am. My caution and level of personal responsibility may be critical for someone else.
If you know your CliftonStrengths®, I encourage you to join us on focusing on one of them this year. If not, consider taking the assessment at http://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths to discover your strengths. Need help in making a plan with your strengths or learning to apply them in your daily life – both personally and professionally? Want to work with your team to learn how to leverage your strengths together? Reach out to Purple Ink, or me directly, for more information!