What does it mean to have “Arranger” as a strength?
Have you ever met someone who can systemize and organize things at the spur of the moment? They take complex variables and identify a way to make them fit together neatly. They not only execute, but they also “execute with flexibility” – in the moment, reconfiguring until satisfaction is attained.
According to Gallup, “People exceptionally talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to determine how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.”
For Arrangers, complexity is embraced rather than feared. They enjoy identifying what’s possible with the many options presented to them. The positive aspect of various components playing simultaneously is that it lends itself to efficiency and productivity. Each component is a variable of success, and the more efficient we can be, the better.
Arranger Mindset and Antics
One of our Churchill Leadership Group team members, Coach Jamie Librot, shares what being an Arranger means to her:
“Flexibility and multi-tasking are the hallmarks of Arranger. Our minds are always spinning, trying to find a better, more efficient way to do something. When describing Arranger, Gallup writes, ‘You are a conductor. When faced with a complex situation involving many factors, you enjoy managing all of the variables, aligning and realigning them until you are sure you have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible.’
Having coached thousands of people on their Strengths, I have often encountered Arrangers who are surprised they do not have Ideation in their top 5. This is because Ideation is known as the ‘creative’ Strength, and Arrangers can be extremely creative. The difference is that people with Ideation enjoy brainstorming about anything.
Alternatively, Arrangers are creative about efficiency. On a normal morning, we might think about all of the errands we need to do, and we will map out a new route to work that passes the dry cleaner, the eye glass repair shop, and the myriad of other places we can pass on the way to work. We get a thrill from trying something new or experimenting. Our colleagues will often see us as creative problem solvers.
Arrangers are creative about efficiency.
Arrangers are rarely able to declare something ‘done’. There is always a better way to do something, and we enjoy experimenting while finding better paths to an outcome. This makes us different from those with Maximizer who will see diminishing returns faster and will be satisfied that a good enough path has been reached and exploration for other paths can stop. This is also different from people with Discipline who will find one way to do something and will find comfort in doing it the same way every time because they are less likely to make a mistake.
When it comes to planning, Arrangers like to have a plan, but we know from experience that the plan is going to change. We likely have a plan B and a plan C ready at all times, as well as a MacGyver worthy toolbox to aid in our plan changes. We are not stressed out when we encounter a barrier, because we innately know that barriers come up and that plans ought to be written in pencil with a big eraser nearby.
This makes us different from people who have Deliberative; Deliberative people spend time anticipating everything that can go wrong before they execute to avoid hitting unknown roadblocks. It is also in contrast to people with Adaptability who often believe that having a plan is a waste of time because plans will inevitably need to change. Therefore, they move forward and come up with ideas as they go along.
Arrangers are often called ‘jugglers’ because we have a capacity to multitask and think of many things at once. For me, as an Arranger, I’m at my best when my mind is being fully taxed. I love solving complex problems. When I need to do something mundane, like an expense report or data entry, I need to distract myself to be fully present. That may sound conflicting, but I find I have to listen to music or a podcast to sit still and focus on simple tasks whereas I can sit for hours solving a crossword puzzle or creating a challenging presentation.”
Arranger resides in the executing domain because it’s about getting things done and doing so efficiently. Strengths in this domain inspire people to help their teams move forward or cross things off their to do list.
Coach Jamie also shares, “Arrangers take a creative approach to problem-solving and continuous improvement. While others take the same route to work each day, the Arranger is always looking for a better or more interesting way. This can be true about processes too. My husband is an engineer (with Arranger in his top 5) who designs medical tools for surgeons. He is most effective when he watches surgeons operate. He will watch the places where the use of the tool is not intuitive or its clumsy, and he immediately knows how to improve the tool.
This leads to an interesting point about where Arrangers do their best work- in the field. They are often less effective sitting alone in an office imagining. Instead, like my husband, they like to see a process or to actually try a process to spark the creativity to improve it.”
As a teammate of someone with Arranger, call on them when you are stuck or need a change agent to reorganize and reorient things. This is a great tool for coaching leaders and team performance builders. They will be pleased to help and will put the puzzle pieces together with ease. As they are unintimidated by complexities, they are eager to get their hands dirty by getting involved to help solve new problems that they may be unfamiliar with. Arrangers also have an agility to identify key differentiators among elements and determine how to best highlight those differences.
When interacting with Arrangers in the workplace, Coach Jamie mentions, “Managers should be especially aware that Arrangers need space to do things their way. Their managers need to provide time and patience for the Arranger to explore. Arrangers thrive in an environment where they can experiment. Not every experiment will be a success, but they will rarely make the same mistake twice. And the next iteration they try just might be the breakthrough your team needs.
Arrangers needs flexibility to work on their own schedule. Those who know them are awed by the amount they are able to fit into a day. However, the busier they are, the happier and more effective they are. They thrive in complexity and can organize chaos into order.”
If you have Arranger, you can learn even more about how to hone in on the Arranger strength.
Churchill is certified and highly experienced at delivering strengths accelerated learning journeys, with four Signature Solutions: Manager Effectiveness, Team Performance, Executive Coaching, and Leadership as Great Coach. Learn more about our Strengths-Based Organization program here.
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