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The Sideline Blog

Just as sports players come to the sideline for rest and guidance, this blog is meant to provide you some insight and guidance as you explore your Strengths journey.

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, and the 34 theme names of CliftonStrengths® are 
trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Talents & Burnout: Self-Assurance®

We recognize that communities throughout the United States (and the world) are working hard to address longstanding, systemic racial inequality and injustice. Even as we join in the efforts to support such initiatives, we also believe continuing to share perspectives via this #talentswithoutburnout series can help people better understand one another as unique, talented individuals who should be celebrated and supported, regardless of their skin color or national origin.

"People exceptionally talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to take risks and manage their own lives. They have an inner compass that gives them certainty in their decisions." - Gallup CliftonStrengths® Themes Quick Reference Guide -

Burnout Concerns

Those with Self-Assurance® talents pose a different kind of burnout risk. These talented individuals often have an extremely well-defined understanding of what they can and can't handle and therefore may be more adept to handle burnout pressures. However, their talents still pose a burnout risk for others:

Being confident in one’s intuition is one thing; making judgments solely based on intuition – decisions that might ignore accepted data – could dramatically increase the chances that others will burnout. If others are investing significant emotionally and mental energy trying to convince the "immovable" it is not going end well.

At a time when flexibility is needed, holding too firm to a course of action may cause fractures in your team, your operations, or your relationships. A solid “keel” can be a good thing, but too firm or too big and your metaphorical ship (your organization) can’t reasonable rock through the ups and downs.

In situations where a team has shrunk, those with Self-Assurance may volunteer to pick up projects that may not best fit their other talents. This overconfidence may cause them to think they can successfully complete the task or project. This could pose a dual burnout risk:

  • Others may ultimately need to fix their work. By making unnecessary work for others, especially when people-power and time are already in short supply, others may start to burnout.

  • The mental energy drain on someone not working in their talents can be significant. If those with Self-Assurance regularly try to operate outside their talents they may begin to feel burned out.

This is not to say those with Self-Assurance talents are immune to burnout. There are at least two ways that these talented people begin to experience burnout:

Similar to the above, when these individuals start trying to operate outside their other natural talents, they can begin to feel mentally exhausted. They may also become emotionally frustrated and burn themselves out further exerting evermore energy trying to be successful. They may tire of constantly trying to "defend" their initial, instinct-driven decisions. Their internal confidence is not likely to be effected, but the persistent need to stand up against others could take a mental toll. Depending on the intensity of their Self-Assurance talents, this could be a long & slow road to burnout; but worrisome nonetheless.

Addressing Burnout

Those with Self-Assurance talents can be key in moments of change and uncertainty. Their ability to channel their inner authority can help calm others. To ensure you get the best from these talented individuals and help them not burnout others,, consider some of the following actions:

Invite them to use their wonderful sense of intuition to help others re-imagine your new world of work and how your team continues to address new challenges. Their "gut" calls when making decisions on new directions may be far more reliable than it might first appear.

Partner them with those who have Deliberative®, Strategic®, or Futuristic® talents to ensure their eyes remain on the future, bigger picture.​ This will help those with Self-Assurance talents ensure that the goals they commit to are still relevant to the team's success.

Partner them with those who have Learner®, Input®, Intellection®, or Analytical® talents to ensure that their decisions are not all "gut", and that they continue to process new information that can better inform their decision-making.

As with coaching any individual, their combined set of talent themes will effect how their Self-Assurance® talents show up, and how to best manage them. As a beginning, next time you check-in with them, try asking,

What does your intuition tell you about ​our current situation? What information might be helpful for you to fine-tune or confirm your course of action?

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, and the 34 theme names of CliftonStrengths® are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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