Adaptability, is that you?

13 February



Adaptability isn't just a buzzword; it has transcended the realm of mere desirability; it has become an absolute necessity. In a landscape that constantly shifts and evolves, your ability to adapt is not just a bonus – it's the key to thriving. It's the difference between merely keeping up and being a trailblazer.

Now, you might be wondering, "How do I know if I'm truly adaptable in practice?" First, let’s define adaptability. Adaptability is a person’s ability to adjust to changes in their environment. When thinking about your career aspirations, changes have a direct effect on how flexible you can be. Practicing adaptability may include how you respond quickly to changes in technology, market trends, or organizational dynamics.

Let’s look at a few ways to deliberately practice adaptability.


Say "Yes" More Often

You may recall the famous movie where Jim Carrey's character couldn't utter the word "no" for an entire day. While we're not advocating such an extreme approach, we encourage you to consider saying "yes" more frequently when opportunities come knocking. This might entail stepping up for a fresh project at your workplace, indulging in a new culinary adventure, or finally taking the plunge and joining that dance class you've always been intrigued by. Embracing these novel experiences will gradually foster greater adaptability within you. As you begin to embrace the habit of saying "yes" and discover that it's not as daunting as it may seem, you naturally find yourself inclined to say "yes" more frequently.


Embrace Feedback

Incorporating feedback into your journey towards adaptability is a pivotal aspect of personal and professional growth. Remember, feedback is not merely a critique; it's a gift that offers invaluable insights into your performance and potential areas for improvement. Seeking feedback regularly should not be limited to interactions with your immediate supervisors alone. Expand your horizons and actively seek input from various sources.

Each perspective, whether from a colleague who works alongside you, a team member who looks up to you, or a customer who experiences your product or service, provides a unique vantage point. Constructive criticism, while it may initially seem challenging to accept, is a powerful tool for your development. It enables you to identify blind spots, refine your skills, and adapt to changing circumstances more effectively.


The 10-Minute Brainstorm 

Setting aside 10 minutes each day for a brief brainstorming session is a valuable practice. However, to enhance its effectiveness, consider selecting topics that are entirely unrelated to your work or current projects. This exercise will not only stimulate your creativity but also cultivate your ability to adapt to diverse problem-solving scenarios by encouraging your mind to explore uncharted territories.


The "Reverse Role" Challenge

Spend a day shadowing a colleague in a completely different role or department. Not only will you gain a deeper understanding of their responsibilities, but you'll also learn how to adapt to different tasks and challenges, broadening your skill set and honing your adaptability.


Learn Something New

Take up a new hobby or skill outside of your comfort zone. Whether it's learning a new language, taking up a musical instrument, or trying your hand at cooking, acquiring new skills helps you build confidence in your ability to adapt to different challenges and environments.


Challenge Your Routine

One of the easiest ways to enhance your adaptability is by breaking your daily routine. Try taking a different route to work, or if you work remotely, rearrange your workspace. These small changes can help you become more comfortable with uncertainty and adapt to new environments, fostering your flexibility and resilience.


Reflect and Adapt Regularly

Periodically evaluate your progress in developing adaptability. Take time to reflect on your experiences, successes, and areas for improvement. Adjust your strategies and continue growing, ensuring that your adaptability evolves alongside the changing circumstances and demands you face.


These tactical exercises may seem small, but they can have a profound impact on your ability to adapt to change. By regularly incorporating them into your routine, you'll not only boost your workplace agility but also become a more versatile and valuable team member. Remember, adaptability is not just a skill; it's a mindset that can be cultivated and honed over time.


Looking to further cultivate adaptability at work or in your team? Get in touch and we can step through it together.

Find new, adaptable ways of working




This piece was written by Dallas Jackson, an accomplished business transformation coach and SoftEd trainer.

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