Fairness. Equity. Merit. These are all words that those with strong Consistency talents find appealing, accurate and even comforting. What is fair and equitable are foundational values for those high in Consistency.
Individuals high in Consistency are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same no matter what their station in life. They become annoyed or even outraged when some are given preferential treatment because of their status or position as it simply is not fair to treat some people better than others. Everyone deserves the same chance and should be allowed to succeed or fail -- to show their worth -- based on his or her merit.
There is a rather clear-eyed realism to Consistency; people function best when there are clear rules that everyone must follow. Consistency ensures that those rules are equally enforced.
Consistency: Helps and Hinders
When coaching those with Consistency in their Top 5, helping them claim both the "helps and hinders" of the theme is critical to productive aiming. Some common helps and hinders of Consistency include:
- Others see you as predictable, and this is a positive observation. Your team knows where they stand with you and that everyone will receive a fair shake.
- You set clear expectations -- for yourself, your team as a whole and each team member. Standards are uniformly defined, and metrics are clear.
- In the midst of the complexity and rapid change that is ever-present in today's work environment, your Consistency talents bring clarity and understanding to multi-faceted situations. Your ability to help others see what isn't changing can help a team navigate the waters of uncertainty.
- You give credit where credit is due, which helps your team members recognize their accomplishments and also know that you value the contributions they make.
- Your natural tendency to treat people the same can sometimes fail to recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of each individual.
- Sometimes those with strong Consistency talents can be seen as rigid or inflexible. Be careful that your "the rules apply to everybody" perspective doesn't keep you from considering legitimate exceptions and extenuating circumstances.
- Sometimes those with Consistency can come across as self-righteous, contending that their rules-based view of the world is the only way to view reality.
- You may tend to place undue emphasis on the way work gets done rather than focusing on the outcome -- overvaluing process over results.
Consistency: Self-Awareness, Self-Expression, Self-Regulation
In order to productively aim Consistency -- or any -- talents at a particular goal, an individual must have: 1) self-awareness about the theme's power, edge and vulnerabilities; 2) an understanding of how the theme finds expression in day-to-day thinking, feeling and behaving; and 3) the ability to regulate the theme to maximize the potential positive outcomes that can be realized through intentionally applying a strengths-based approach. Coaches can help clients with strong Consistency talents by exploring the following:
- The Power and Edge of Consistency: Those with Consistency among their Signature Themes can quickly and easily arrive at decisions that are fair and equitable to all involved. As such, others perceive them as honest and trustworthy, and their positions are clearly understood. They are also the creators and guardians of standards, policies and procedures, helping teams and organizations function efficiently and effectively.
- The Vulnerabilities of Consistency: Variation and customization can be stressful for those high in Consistency. In a rapidly changing environment where the processes and standards are in flux, they might retreat to a rigid, "we've always done it this way" attitude that inhibits growth.
Coaches can assist clients in realizing and claiming the expression of Consistency by helping them explore past instances when this theme has been particularly useful. To facilitate this exploration, coaches can ask the following questions:
- Tell me about the systems and processes you employ to help you accomplish your goals. What is the most satisfying aspect?
- Who are your best partners at work? When do you call on them to help you?
- What do you do to make sure people are treated fairly?
- How do you define and measure success when you are working on a project?
Self-Regulation occurs when individuals know which of their talents to use in particular situations, or know which talents to combine to either sharpen, accelerate or soften a specific talent. For example, sometimes those high in Consistency might insist on following a standard operating procedure and not take individual needs or exceptions into account - processes and rules might take precedence, and relationships might be damaged. It is then that a coach can help the client identify other talents that might yield better results. Coaches can also help clients explore different theme combinations to either sharpen or soften Consistency, including:
- Themes that tend to sharpen Consistency: Belief, Discipline, Focus, Includer, Responsibility, Achiever, Command
- Themes that tend to soften Consistency: Individualization, Harmony, Empathy, Relator, Connectedness, Learner, Positivity
Consistency: Five Powerful Questions for Productive Aiming
- Where are the places of disorder in your organization? How can you bring steadiness and cohesion to the situation?
- How do you know you're achieving the right outcomes? Is your adherence to process helping or hindering reaching the right outcomes?
- How do you measure your success? In what areas will creating a more structured, consistent process help you be even more successful?
- Who in your community is not getting a fair chance? What will you do about it?
- How can you promote fairness, equity and merit in your workplace?