[Wsssc] Winter 2020 WSSSC Meeting | Strengths-Based Team Building Training

Luca Lewis llewis at whatcom.edu
Tue Jan 28 12:29:23 PST 2020

Good Morning, Colleagues,

We have a very exciting leadership training this week at our commission meeting with two fabulous trainers-Sharon Allen Felton and Katie Hearn Zang (more information on their background detailed below).

Of the multiple strategies we are taking on in leadership and team-building, the Dependable Strengths process and framework is designed to have a positive impact on-

(a)   WSSSC's integration of a contextualized experience through Building Strengths-Based Teams, and

(b)   WSSSC's identity development and decision-making strategies from a leadership perspective.

Building strengths-based teams is a dynamic process that enhances participants' view of themselves and their strengths and thereby increases confidence and motivation to achieve goals. The overall goal is to engage participants in dynamic and interactive opportunities, where they are able to learn from their successes, recognize good experiences, explore identities, and begin to apply personal strengths in order to seize more of their potential. By identifying and owning strengths and identities, participants are free to use, develop, or combine their strengths in different ways to fulfill on their aspirations, enhance their performance, build strengths-based teams, and powerfully adapt to organizational change at the campus level and throughout the CTC system.

What is Dependable Strengths?
The Dependable Strengths process includes a series of engaging experiences that produce clarity about the core strengths of individuals, teams and communities with their intersection of identities. Developed by innovators in strengths identification work, Dr. Bernard Haldane and partner Jean Haldane, the Dependable Strengths process greatly benefits individuals, groups, and organizations. Purposes include career exploration and job search, leadership development, team building, personal development, and more. In summary, here are the essential elements of the Dependable Strengths process:

  *   Share and examine meaningful stories from their lives, called Good Experiences, to reveal their distinctive set of strengths.
     *    A Good Experience is something: you feel you did well, you enjoyed doing, you feel proud of.
  *   Confirm and begin to take ownership of their dependable strengths.
  *   Practice talking clearly about their unique combination of strengths and related experiences in mock situations (i.e. interviewing, networking, annual reviews, project funding, and more).
  *   Identify areas of contribution of their core strengths.

Why is this training important and what are the outcomes/deliverables?
This training is an introduction to the Dependable Strengths Process and will focus on building authentic and positive relationships among WSSSC participants and provide a framework from which to view executive leadership and team building potential. Contractor shall provide the following proposed learning outcomes/deliverables:

  *   Understand how and why identifying strengths are key to understanding intersection of identities, leadership development, and success performance.
  *   Understand the nature and value of a "strengths" perspective to improve team skill building and decision-making.
  *   As an introduction to DSAP, participants will begin the process of identifying individual and team strengths that are deemed valuable to participants and to WSSSC.
  *   Enhance positive and authentic connections with colleagues.
  *   Complete training evaluation.

What are the Impacts of this Training?
Participants experience a significant increase in knowledge, embodiment and confidence in their personal value and that of their team.  They greatly improve their skill and comfort with clearly and authentically conveying their strengths, skills and talents both verbally and in writing, and experience a genuine feeling of good will and connection with others during the process.  Participants also report a greater level of satisfaction in many areas of life. Participants have secured meaningful work, negotiated for higher salaries, turned hobbies into paid work, returned to school, chose volunteer activities that aligned with what they truly care about, fulfilled life dreams and much more.

Dependable Strengths Pre-Work
To get the most from the workshop please complete the DS Questionnaire (attached) and bring this with you to the training on Thursday 1/30.  Sharon Allen-Felton is available to answer any questions you may have. She can be reached at pepperlui at hotmail.com<mailto:pepperlui at hotmail.com>.

Meet our Trainers
Sharon Allen Felton, MA Ed Psych, Dependable Strengths Master Trainer
Sharon Allen Felton, MA Ed Psych, Dependable Strengths (DS) Master Trainer, has trained DS facilitators since 2000 and facilitated Dependable Strengths workshops in the United States and South Africa for diverse clientele in higher education, non-profits, and the private sector.  She serves on the Board of Directors, Center for Dependable Strengths and co-authored the 2017 edition of the training manual.

Sharon's professional career has been in higher education, primarily with Bellevue College, where she held several positions on faculty and administration.  Those positions included tenured faculty/counselor, Division Chair of Health Sciences, ABE/GED/ESL, P.E., Early Childhood, and Fire Command Programs, and administrator of several federal grants to increase the admission and retention of students of color in high risk programs.  The Dependable Strengths Articulation Process was used to support student success, and for team-building with staff and faculty.

Sharon earned a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington; a Bachelor of Arts, Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley; and an Associate Degree in Nursing (R.N.) from Pasadena College.

Katie Hearn Zang, LCSW, Dependable Strengths Master Trainer
Katie Hearn Zang is a certified Master Trainer for the Dependable Strengths Articulation Process (DSAP) and serves on the Executive Committee for the Center for Dependable Strengths.  She has facilitated over 200 Dependable Strengths workshops for a variety of organizations including The University of Washington, Seattle's Community and Technical Colleges, King County Library System, AmeriCorp and many community based and social service organizations.  She also trains DSAP facilitators specializing in college and university staff to use DSAP with their students.  Katie co-wrote the 2017 revision of DSAP with a specific focus on enhancing its relevance for multiple identity groups.

Katie earned her Master's in Social Work from the University of Maryland and is the founder of Work Life Pathways<https://www.lifeworkpathways.com/> providing strengths-based career and life coaching and workshop facilitation.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and/or if I've missed someone from our list of participants.



Luca E. Lewis, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Services
Whatcom Community College
237 West Kellogg Road | Bellingham, WA 98226
P: 360.383.3076
F: 360.383.4000

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