7 Signs You’re an Adaptable Person
In the fast-paced, ever-changing workplaces of today, adaptability is a crucial skill for managers, leaders and anyone looking to carve out a successful career path.
Why is adaptability important?
A high level of adaptability means you’re generally better able to handle change successfully. As a leader or senior manager, you play an important role in leading your team through periods of change, whether that be new workplace procedures, new goalposts or new technology. An adaptable mindset empowers you to support your team more effectively and better manage the impact of new challenges.
Adaptability also tends to improve your level of resilience, meaning that periods of uncertainty are less likely to impact on your overall personal wellbeing. Adaptable people tend to be happier and more content as they’re not struggling against the tide or trying to resist when things change.
How adaptable are you?
Here are 7 common characteristics of highly-adaptable people. How many of them do you recognise in yourself?
1. A willingness to experiment
Adaptability involves being open to trying out new ideas and methods. You would never hear an adaptable person say ‘we’ll do it this way because that’s the way we’ve always done it.’
2. Unafraid of failure
Not every new idea will work just as expected. But being able to view setbacks or failures as an opportunity to learn and grow is an essential element of adaptability.
Adaptable people are able to think creatively to find solutions to problems and challenges. A tendency to dwell on a lack of X, Y or Z is a blocker to adaptability.
4. Able to see the big picture
Resistance to change is often borne out of a lack of understanding of why it’s necessary or the potential benefits it will bring. An awareness of the wider context and an understanding of how things work and connect empowers you to see beyond potential challenges to the wider goal and motivates you to find solutions.
5. Engaged in positive self-talk
A positive mental attitude relies on us managing our self-talk; that inner voice that we all hear from time to time. If we tell ourselves that something is impossible, too hard or pointless, the chances are it will turn out to be just that. Adaptable people listen to a more positive inner voice.
Examples of positive self-talk include:
‘I can do it.’
‘I’m good enough.’
‘If I want to, I can.’
‘It doesn’t matter if I make a mistake.’
‘I can make it happen.’
‘If I try hard, I’ll get there.’
A curious mind is open to investigating new opportunities and wants to understand how and why things work. A curious person may find their self-talk often involves things like ‘What will happen if…’ or ‘It might be interesting to see what happens if we do X this way, instead of the way we’ve always done it.’ With active curiosity comes a greater awareness and understanding of a situation, which empowers you to adapt to change more effectively.
7. Being present
Adaptable people are present and engaged enabling them to deal with the situation as it is rather than as they think it should be. A mindful approach helps you focus on the here and now rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Cultivating these characteristics will help you improve your adaptability and your ability to handle change more effectively. One to one coaching can help you understand which skills you already have and how to develop others.