Arranger: The Flexible Conductor

As we end the school year, our last #LOCCStrengths blog posts deal with the final two themes not yet discussed: Arranger and Achiever. Both are Executing themes. Today, we will look at the Arranger theme.

Arrangers are doers whose organizational abilities help to maximize productivity. They focus on creating processes and placing people so that tasks get completed. The outcome or product is important so they anticipate potential problems and plan with that in mind. Yet, they are also flexible, making them critical when change should be implemented.

He arranged his works in an eternal order, and their dominion for all generations; they neither hunger nor grow weary, and they do not cease from their labors.  - Sirach 16:27 (NRSVCE)

This passage beautifully captures the Arranger talent. The Arranger juggles schedules, details, materials, and people so that there will be staying power and longevity upon completion. Learn more about the Arranger strength in this Gallup Strengths Center video:

When looking for someone who needs to be able to manage change in the midst of multiple moving pieces, you should consider an Arranger.

Adaptability: Adventure Awaits

– by Natasha Nichol

To possess the strength of ‘Adaptability’ is to be free; free to live in the moment, free to go with the flow, free to take things as they come, free to live one day at a time, and to view the future as a series of possibilities and not a fixed destination. The power that the theme of ‘Adaptability’ has is that you are not tied to one definitive set of plans, pathway or possibility in reaching an end goal. With this strength you are open to helping others in the moment, to be able to navigate unforeseen detours or challenges, to change direction mid mission and not be discouraged while doing so. It brings joy and comfort in being able to have the flexibility do so, not having to commit to one set path.

It is said that one who posses the strength of adaptability should avoid roles with structure and predictability. I am an elementary educator, a vice principal, a daughter, a wife, a mother of three. None of the roles are conducive to structure and predictability 24-7. It is because of my ‘Adaptability’ that I can negotiate my day to day, weaving in and out of each role, and still maintain my sanity. I am not resistant in pausing what I am doing to help others when they need it. I get excited when unforeseen learning opportunities, sparked by student interest, present themselves and excitedly deviate from my day plan. The ability to be ‘Adaptable’ allows me to take a detour with my son on the way to a hockey tournament to check out the Crooked Trees. I can drop everything and spontaneously go to visit my parents a province away. No missed opportunities.
There is the flipped side of the coin. ‘Adaptability’ can be a barrier if one does not keep the end goal in mind. There are days when I have a plan or a “To-Do List” that I want to conquer. When I deviate from the plan and take on other responsibilities or tasks I can loose sight of what I need to accomplish. This can add more work to my day and at times makes me the Queen of Procrastination. I am also aware that working with people who are not strong in ‘Adaptability’ can get frustrated with this “go with the flow” type of direction. My husband would be one of these people. He is an adaptable person but operates in a more structured and stable environment. Because of this I am more cognisant of how my ‘Adaptability’ will affect others when I change the plan and if it is worth it.

What I want others to take away from this strength is that it allows you to navigate the unexpected in a collected manner. Change is welcomed, not feared. There is always an end goal in mind but the journey is not set. Adventure awaits!

Adaptability: Navigating Chaos

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.

Matthew 6:34 RSVCE

Adaptability is a relationship building theme. Those high in Adaptability live in the moment and go with the flow. Their abundant flexibility and focus in the moment regardless of distractions and interruptions means that people feel listened to and valued by them. This makes those with Adaptability indispensable when chaos abounds or change is uncomfortable. They can counted on to be excellent navigators of change, early adopters, and outstanding collaborators.

Because of their responsiveness to the immediate environment and their surroundings, the adaptable teacher or administrator rarely gets in a flap. They exude calm and patience. They are adept and demonstrate great agility when enriching, accelerating, or simplifying content and strategies.

The adaptable individual is resilient. They bounce back quickly by putting events in the rear view mirror and carrying on with their present circumstance. This is not to say that they don’t reflect on or learn from the past; they do! In fact, the adaptable person will be using many past experiences all in the present moment to anticipate the best possible outcome while demonstrating bucolic serenity and justness. As a result, students, staff, and parents respond with reasonableness.

Those with Adaptability are extremely flexible but they crave parameters in order to complete tasks. In the absence of clear expectations, adaptability can lead to floundering. In the classroom, it is important to ensure that students clearly understand the task and have the supports available to construct an appropriate work plan. Teaching students how to ask for clearer parameters is a critical communication skill. Learning how to develop a timeline is also invaluable. Those high in Adaptability will appear to flit from task to task – forcing them to work on a single task for more than 30 minutes is actually a greater waste of their time but they must learn how to manage time in order to accomplish something. This delicate balance can be achieved.