Change is going to come.
As we are all aware by now, change is constant. Technology and automation are on the rise, the job market and room for remote work are fluctuating fast, and during COVID-19 CDC social distancing requirements, societal norms that were once considered secure are now disrupted daily. All of us must remember that tiredness, frustration, and melancholy can quickly wear down adaptability, causing anxiety, aggression, and conflict. In reality, resilience takes immense interpersonal audacity and effort. We need to note that the things we may perceive as threats may be opportunities for something new if we adjust our outlook. We must find focus amid our fight or flight responses, take a moment to breathe, acclimate to adversity, and look ahead.
The practice may not make perfect, but that’s okay.
It’s essential to remember that adaptability is not inherent or fixed, and, just like a muscle that needs to stretch and exercise, versatility takes practice. By nature, the brain seeks out habitual patterns causing unintentional blind spots; require everyone, especially during times of tribulation, to re-train their brain from their expected, everyday occurrences to encountering the unfamiliar.
No one is flawless, and there are a few negative traits you should be mindful of when working on your malleability. Inflexibility, for instance, will surely be a roadblock on your path to success. Black and white thinking, bluntness, disgruntlement, and realistically, any resistance to change can be catastrophic in times of crisis.
So, is adaptability worth it?
In short- YES, on many levels! Someone adaptable can quickly summon captivating leadership skills and tend to be happier in their professional and personal lives. A versatile employee can be an asset to any team, cultivating a competitive advantage.
In all, adaptability prepares us for adversity around the corner, and nowadays, who doesn’t need that kind of advantage?
Seven Innovative Qualities that Advance Adaptable People
- Flexibility and the availability to adjust at any moment. Adaptable people can possess elastic-like energy, a willingness to bend and break habits, to challenge themselves when their circumstances change. They tend to face problems, pivot among distractions, and politely proceed forward. Adaptable people are prone to think ahead and consistently focus on improvement. Balance beams of “what can we be doing better,” those that are adaptable ruminate over both the risks and the rewards.
- Curiosity encompasses adaptability. Adaptable people can be inquisitive, and they remind their inner child never to stop asking “why.” Flexible people also aren’t timid to ask “stupid questions.” Those who are adaptable are eager to investigate solutions, explore issues efficiently, from a functional perspective, and across all angles.
- See opportunity above obstacles. Instead of seeing mistakes or failure, try seeing opportunities instead. Adaptable people don’t have one solution set in stone. They have a wide variety of ideas and resources to pull from, and because of this, they are more likely to reinvent the wheel in real-time.
- Adaptable people are true team players. They tend to criticize less and are not characteristically quick to point fingers. They soak-in information, analyze, and adjust. They don’t fixate on the temporary, and they seek to understand, not explain, making them the ultimate coworkers and partners. Adaptable people are not prideful and are aware of the power behind their purpose, having strong moral values they’re willing to stand behind.
- Adaptable people can be versatile visionaries, who are prepared and proactive. They can be creative, imaginative, and more often than not, they take alternate routes to make things happen.
- Adaptable people are emotionally intelligent. They have more of a capacity to care, and a tenacity for tolerance, encouraging empathy and respect for others, even those who may have different views from their own. They are observant, too, and also examine their coping mechanisms and strategies for success, altering accordingly.
- Practice positivity, professionally and personally! Adaptable people make a habit of engaging in positive self-talk to get through challenging tasks. They are also comfortable self-correcting without scratching to their ego. On the plus side, adaptable people who practice positivity tend not to sink or settle after setbacks, either. Actively pursue and cherish the positive moments in life. Great things can come to those who are grateful.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.