Bookish Strength: Consistency

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

We are on to the next strength in my 34 list of Clifton Strengths*: Consistency! I have seen this theme emerge the more I am sticky situations or ones that make me nervous when a decision has to be made, because I know what is right and what is wrong. However, it isn’t as easy as that! This also manifests in how I structure my day and the processes that fill it. An executing theme for sure, I am constantly referring to what the manual or trusted sources say before I can decide on anything! Buckle up for this theme haha.

In a nutshell, this is what Consistency is all about:

You are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. You crave stable routines and clear rules and procedures that everyone can follow.

The former part of this theme definition I see when I try to understand where someone is coming from. In books, especially, when we see the villain or person that isn’t supposed to be liked I always try to find a balance of good with them. This comes as me sounding like I’m defending their actions BUT I want others to see the ‘why’ – or to play devil’s advocate. The same even for a good character, clearly there are flaws and they aren’t perfect so let’s paint a realistic picture of this human. I feel that we sometimes get stuck in one frame of thinking that we forget that there is a whole other side that we don’t see OR understand. I feel that I am the unbiased voice of reason in book club conversations particularly.

By nature, you may be attracted to situations where you can work on certain types of projects and produce quality results. Nonetheless, you may be a realist. When there are standard operating procedures, policies, deadlines, or rules to be followed by everyone, you try to adhere to them. Perhaps you are unwilling to ask that an exception be made just for you. Actually, you might become irritated with people who demand special treatment.

Heck yes. I absolutely detest when people think they are above others when rules are set for all to follow, ie. standing in a long line. You should have gotten there sooner, sorry. I have to sometimes say that to myself because I feel that instinctual rise of stress when it happens to me, but then I remember, we all are following the rules. I get nervous when I organize our book club and realize that not everyone read the book, then I think Is it fair to discuss the book and potentially spoil it?! Fairness and balance are always on my mind.

I’m also always thinking, what’s the point of having rules/regulations if we aren’t going to follow them? Do I feel bad when the rules aren’t working in someone’s favor? Of course, but they are there for a reason. They can be changed, sure thing! This however challenges me when it comes to pieces of social justice and equity. When it comes to human lives and being treated with respect no matter who you are, that is when my Consistency goes out the window – I know, not consistent at all but my 6-10 themes will tell you why that is when we get to those!

From time to time, you are the one who makes several people aware of the way things really are. Straightforward and objective, perhaps you lay out some facts so those involved might agree to move forward together in one direction.

This one makes me laugh! My Ravenclaw tendencies come into play here since I am pretty blunt when characters in stories are trying to make a decision or justify something – clearly we all know what the right answer is OR I’m like What do the rules say? I am THAT person who goes back to a manual and policies to make sure I’m abiding by the rules OR if something isn’t written there, I wonder if it’s not stated, can we still do it even though it be may be unethical? My mind and heart both hurt in that sense haha.

You are so committed to treating each person the same that you might forget that no two people are alike. Remember that different things motivate different people, and everyone has their own way of thinking and relating to others.

You may see yourself as a guardian of what is right and a champion against special treatment. Realize that others may reject you for assuming that responsibility and will want to bend the rules for the greater good.

I get on my high-horse too much, I know haha. I feel so passionately about how the world should be that I go on tirades – mostly in my friend group, rarely if ever through social media platforms. When characters have to make an ethical decision, I collapse internally when they choose the path that is clearly unethical and goes against their values. It’s not (let’s all say it together) CONSISTENT!

This theme is the one that I struggle with constantly. Right and wrong. Balance. Fairness. Too much of a burden I put on myself that most of the times is not needed. However, I do appreciate when I can provide an unbiased opinion as well as see both (or multiple) sides of a situation. I think it helps with decision-making for others as they talk out loud and process externally. Who knows haha.

Next time, we will tackle my #6 strength – Includer.

What are your (bookish) strengths?

*To learn more and to take the assessment yourself, check out the Clifton Strengths site (This is not meant to be an advertisement! As you read about Input, you can see that I love to share resources and information 🙂 )

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