Are you Adaptable?

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Leaders need to be adaptable and flexible.

Charles Darwin says it best, “It’s not the strongest or the most intelligent who survive but those who can manage change.”

Some people mistakenly think that the ability to change according to the needs of a situation, or a willingness to compromise, show weakness, or a lack of conviction.

In reality, the ability to compromise, change in response to changing situations and needs, and thrive are key to success in the fast-paced workplaces most of us find ourselves in. Adaptability is a core competency.

You can’t build an adaptable organization without adaptable people.

Adapting to change requires flexible leadership.

Change can be scary, but learning to adapt and flex as needed is an investment worth making. The cost of doing the same old thing is far higher than the cost of change.

Changing to Manage People

Managing people is not a one-size-fits-all ability.

People need different things from their leader. Some need lots of feedback and guidance. Others prefer to work independently most of the time and to get feedback only at regularly scheduled intervals. Some people need a great deal of hands-on training with technology or equipment, while others will come into your organization as experts.

Taking the time to learn what your people need, and then changing your leadership style to meet those needs, is hugely important to workplace success.

When you adapt to the specific needs of the people you manage, it shows you care – rather than expecting them to conform to your preferred way of doing things, you want to invest in them and help them grow.

Take the time to ask your people what they need from you, their goals, and how you can be a better leader. Then take steps to make the changes you feel will be most helpful.

6 Ways to Show You’re Worth Your Weight in Adaptability

How can you showcase your adaptability at work?

Studies show that highly adaptable people may be more highly valued at work than highly skilled people but less willing to adapt, flex, and change.

Take the time to show how adaptable you are, and your workplace is likely to see you as a worthwhile investment.

Here are some ways to demonstrate how adaptable you are:

  • Be open to alternative solutions, especially when your first suggestion does not go over well or succeed.
  • Asking questions will open your ability to accept new concepts and ideas.
  • Be willing to help others generate alternative solutions or plans.
  • Be willing to accept the unexpected.
  • Keep your calm, even when things are moving fast or are stressful.
  • Demonstrate confidence in your ability to complete the job even when you’ve had to adapt or flex.