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Renita Washington: Bringing CliftonStrengths to Academic Advising
Academic Advising Manager Renita Washington sees the world as a place where everyone has something unique and powerful to contribute to society. As an advisor, facilitator, instructor, and coach, she works daily to help all people see their strengths in a way that allows them to be successful leaders in their role.
Washington first became interested in the importance of effective team dynamics as an instructor for GT 1000. “I was noticing firsthand the struggles students had working in teams when it came to the course’s team project,” she says. Motivated by the desire for a better way to lead her student teams, Washington joined the Effective Team Dynamics Initiative (ETD) and became a Strengths coach and a certified facilitator of the CliftonStrengths Discovery course.
Becoming an ETD facilitator has helped Washington “introduce the students to how to work better as a team, how to resolve conflicts, and what strengths each brought to the team to do so.” She expertly guides students in acknowledging unhelpful attitudes toward group projects based on past negative experiences. She supports individuals and teams in addressing any difficulties and teaches communication and problem-solving tools to collaboratively achieve positive outcomes. “I really connect to and appreciate the way ETD helps students have a language and skills to work more effectively as a team and to work through conflicts,” she explains. Now if you walk into one of Washington’s GT1000 courses, you are sure to find the students sitting in groups discussing past sources of tension and brainstorming actionable items to avoid future problems.