Profiles in Strengths: Guy Goodman
Guy Goodman, Dean of Enrollment Services
Q: How do your Top 5 Strengths relate to your leadership philosophy?
Each of my Top 5 is a unique characteristic that explains my leadership style. Three of the top 5 (Relator, Connectedness, Developer) help me to stay focused on being directly involved in the professional lives of staff for whom I am responsible. This means forming relationships with them. Understanding their work. Helping them to identify how they can improve upon their current outcomes. How I might be able to assist them to contribute more or serve our students in even more phenomenal ways. The other two (Belief and Responsibility) deal specifically with who I am and how that translates to my leading others. If given a choice of projects, my values will guide me to those that I feel most passionate about, usually centering around the least, the last, or the lost and with a heavy student focus. Taking on these tasks and learning more about the different situations that our students present or are dealt with in their individual lives helps me to follow through with helping in any way possible, whether it be policy/process development or improvement, or one-on-one assistance to individual students.
Q: You have a lot of goals for your area and for the college – which Strengths will you rely on most as you tackle your next big projects?
With this being my first experience with Strengths, I’m continually learning how they impact the work that is completed at South. I’m excited to be able to pull together teams of individuals with differing Strengths to approach larger projects from differing perspectives. I believe that this is the best utilization of Strengths characteristics to benefit project development or improvement. As an example related to enrollment management strategies, it is extremely important to have a person (or two) with Strategic in their Top 5 and a person (or two) with any of the Strengths in the Relationship category together. Again, differing viewpoints to address an institutional problem.
Q: What are your thoughts on knowing others’ Strengths and engaging others in terms of those Strengths?
As has been mentioned previously, knowledge of others’ Strengths becomes invaluable with planning team membership as well as when dealing with conflict between individuals or departments. Most of the issues that are presented to us relate to how one or more individuals views specific situations in a vastly different manner. Understanding what those perspectives are has the potential to help find common ground and common talking points.
Q. We also use our strengths as a way to face challenging situations or as a means of getting through difficult experiences. Which strengths power you through the tough parts of your day?
The Strengths that help me the most are Belief and Connectedness. Knowing that my values help guide me toward solutions and that all behaviors are connected in some way helps me to work toward finding those commonalities that can be agreed upon when individuals are in the midst of conflict. Helping students to understand how their behavior is connected with faculty expectation and how faculty expectations are connected with college and district expectations of student conduct help to refocus students toward their own success without minimizing the importance of civility on campus.
Q: Any final thoughts about Strengths?
I’ve found Strengths to be beneficial in my work in student affairs. As I continue to grow in knowledge of each of the characteristics, I aspire to be able to broaden my scope of understanding to help me be more receptive to varying perspectives. Additionally, helping others to see these differing views will help to build a more unified team focused on providing the best service to our students and stakeholders.