Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Adaptability & Flexibility

Adaptability & Flexibility

We have seen three different soft skills in the past three weeks. This week I bring to you the next and very important skill that is a must have – Adaptability.  We live in a changing world and we must be able to adapt to the changing circumstances in life.  Along with Adaptability comes Flexibility, both go hand in hand.

Adaptability is the ability to change to fit new circumstances. Flexibility is the capacity to bend without breaking.

Everyone wishes for the organisation to grow, and with growth comes changes. Hence, these are skills that we must develop in ourselves and also develop in our teams.

Why is it essential in a workplace?

Employers need people who have the ability to cope with change, or respond well to change. While selecting a candidate, every company looks for someone who fits within the existing work environment and is able to expect, take action  / manage change on a day to day basis. Besides the candidate’s experience and skills, employers check if the potential employee will fit in with the company culture.

At an interview, you can’t really show your adaptability skills, however you can explain your adaptability skills with a past situation or a challenge you faced that you successfully handled. You need to convince your interviewer that you will do whatever it takes to make the job a success.

Employers give a lot of importance to this skill as it is a very important skill that will help one handle an emergency or to deal with work related stress, to learn new tasks / technologies / processes.

Do we have the ability to handle different situations in different ways?

Let’s look at how adaptability and flexibility can be developed 

Have an adjusting and good attitude: When you have a good attitude towards life you will be more adaptable and flexible.  You have to adjust your thoughts in new situations to overcome obstacles and bring in solutions.

Be accommodative: One of the ways of being flexible and adaptable is to be accommodative to others in your workplace. Things can’t always go as you wish. We have to understand and appreciate the viewpoint of others. Better solutions can be arrived at when people feel that they can voice opinions freely.

Have an open mind: An open mind will help you have clear thinking and you will be able to see different possibilities. So, be open to new ideas. The more ideas you get, the more flexible and solution oriented you will be.

Encourage adaptability in teams: Leaders must encourage adaptability and cooperation in teams. Also leaders must promote decision making. If employees are used to making their own decisions, they will be prepared to handle difficult situations and arrive at solutions as they grow in the organisation. Empower the team to take risks and to fail. When you encourage risk taking and give freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, employees also take ownership of these mistakes and convert them into learning opportunities.  This is makes them ready for change.

We have seen that being adaptable and flexible increases your ability to communicate and build relationships with others. Adaptability and flexibility allows you to adjust to a changing environment, which is at times crucial to survival. Situations, circumstances can change extremely quickly, and if individuals cannot adapt to changes quickly, they are likely to be left behind.

Charles Darwin said it best, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

I wish you the very best in your efforts to become more adaptable and flexible.

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One Comment

  1. 7-7-2014

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