Wednesday, April 8, 2020 – Philip Dodd

Last week I shared two of my dominant strengths and how I’m trying to manage those in recent weeks. My Empathy and Positivity are extremely based in my emotional stability, so it’s no surprise those are more dramatic during this time (and let’s face it, those who know me well realize I have a flare for the dramatic anyway). I digress…

I wanted to continue looking at some of my other strengths and how they are impacted.

Responsibility. I have taken CliftonStrengths several times over the last 15 years. I’ve held on to my initial top 5 and just considered any shifting strengths as supplemental. I think of Responsibility as my number 6 though. And let me tell you, this one has been thrown for a loop with remote work. I take very real ownership of tasks and commitments that are attached to my name, and I feel a weight on my shoulders to do the best I can when I take something on.

 It took me a couple weeks to figure out what I was responsibility for in this new approach to our work. Most of my projects were put on hold, or even cancelled. The remaining things have a huge question mark hoovering over the timeline. I still struggle with feeling responsible for outcomes with which I now have limited control. My responsibility has shifted (thanks to some guidance from our departmental leadership) to the relationships I have with students and coworkers. That fits nicely with the bulk of my strengths, it took time to rethink the scope and necessity of my current responsibilities.


Relator. As a Relator, I don’t seek a large number of relationships in my life. My focus is on deepening a few select relationships with the people who matter most to me. If you know the 5 Love Languages, I’m all about quality time. And that’s hard to come by in isolation. I live by myself. So how am I working on those relationships that matter most to me?

 I talk with my family almost daily, even if it’s just a few minutes catching up. I consistently text some of my closest friends, and I’m even texting more with some high school friends that I had grown apart from over the years. I’ve heard how other people are going through their contacts and calling someone different each night. That sounds exhausting to me as an introverted Relator, even if I’m dealing with daily isolation. But when connecting with the people who know me best, I do find some comfort in this confusing crisis. My Relator strength grounds me and helps me focus on who is most important in my life.