Adaptability skills are the ability to adjust to new situations and environments. They are crucial skills that can help you thrive in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world.
Adaptability skills will also make your life easier with less stress, as well as help you achieve more success in your career.
With the rapid pace of change outside of our workplaces these days, it pays to be an adaptive person! This blog post has some simple tips on how to upgrade your adaptability skills.
What Are Adaptability Skills, And Why Do They Matter?
How do we know when our adaptability skills need upgrading?
The most common signs include feeling stressed and overwhelmed, having trouble managing time, being unable to maintain healthy relationships, struggling financially, or not finding fulfilling work.
It might seem like adapting is just something that happens naturally, but it doesn’t happen automatically without deliberate effort from us!
The Importance Of Adapting To Change
The rate of change and disruption in the world is ever increasing. Businesses are disrupted by new technology almost every day. Our relationships, bodies, minds, and emotions are being reshaped through rapid advancements in science and medicine.
Even our sense of identity – how we see ourselves and what is important to us – is shifting due to how we use social media and connect with other people.
There’s no turning back from this change, so it pays to not only understand how adaptive skills can help you thrive amidst all this chaos but also how to upgrade your adaptability skills actively.
These are the adaptability skills that will help you thrive in any environment or situation, as well as give you a happier and more successful life:
- Self-awareness helps us identify our strengths and weaknesses, which is very helpful for modifying behavior to improve outcomes in our work, relationships, and overall wellbeing.
- A growth mindset helps us maintain a positive attitude and opens the door to learning, innovation, and seeing opportunities. A growth mindset is often developed through mindset coaching or training.
- Flexibility enables us to adapt to changing conditions that may not have been apparent at first glance. This characteristic allows us to look for different approaches rather than the same old solutions.
- Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, empathize, and relate with other people effectively. This helps us keep our relationships smooth despite life’s inevitable disruptions and changes. Communicating well with others is also an essential part of emotional intelligence.
- Patience enables us to deal with change without feeling irritable or overwhelmed.
- Resilience allows us to embrace change and bounce back after a setback or failure. This quality is what all successful entrepreneurs have in common – they keep trying different strategies until they hit on the right formula for their business.
What is an example of an adaptability skill?
As professionals, we are often called upon to adapt to new circumstances. Whether it’s a change in project goals, working with a new team, or meeting a tight deadline, adapting is essential for success. So, what is an example of an adaptability skill? Let’s take a look.
Professional adaptability skills are the ability to be flexible in your work style rather than resistant to change.
Resistance To Change
Let’s say you have a colleague named John, the consummate professional. He works hard, gets along with everyone, and always meets his deadlines. You’ve done several projects with him over the years, and I would be more than happy to work with him anytime.
One day you get assigned to a new project led by another colleague named Mary. Naturally, you’re eager for the opportunity, but then you learn that John is on Mary’s team too. She wants both of you to work together closely so she can capitalize on your strengths and help resolve any differences that might arise.
You’re not completely comfortable with this arrangement because you have worked autonomously in the past and don’t know how to manage your time or team members together. You think that having John on the project will slow you down, so it’s better if he isn’t involved at all. Your only goal is to meet your part of the project, and you don’t want John to get in your way.
Resistance to change like this is an example of how adaptability can go wrong. You’re not necessarily failing at the work itself; instead, there is a disconnect between what you can do and how it’s needed for this new situation. If this happens frequently – or even just a couple of times – you will likely be viewed as inflexible, and your career could suffer. By focusing on your skills and what you can do, you are missing the opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of others.
When this happens from John’s perspective, he might think that you aren’t interested in taking advantage of his knowledge or skills. This could cause problems when something goes wrong, or even just when a decision needs to be made. On the other hand, he might want to be more involved in the project because he knows he can do a good job and wants to prove himself. In the end, this lack of adaptability can cause problems for everyone.
How To Upgrade Your Adaptability Skills
- Practice self-awareness – The first step to upgrading your adaptability skills is identifying where you are now. Don’t worry if you feel like you have “low” adaptability skills, as these are things that can be learned and developed with practice.
- Look for new places where you can practice a growth mindset – maybe that’s going to a completely different job or starting a business from scratch, joining an organization that wants to see the world change in a specific way, focusing on positive affirmations, etc.
- Pay attention to when people mistreat you in your relationships to reflect on how you might be able to manage these situations better.
- Consider whether there are specific situations in your life where you are putting pressure on yourself to be perfect. For example, you might feel the need to have an ideal body or get everything done perfectly at work every day, or it could be a more general feeling of having no margin for error in what you do. The problem with self-imposed perfectionism is that we will inevitably fall short of our expectations and then feel bad about ourselves, so let’s stop the cycle!
- Consider whether there are people in your life who make you feel small, like they’re always right, or judge when others make mistakes (these can also be signs of codependency). One way to avoid this is by setting healthy boundaries.
- Recognize that only you control your reactions and responses to things happening outside of yourself. So if someone does something nasty to you, give them some space! Don’t try to control or change their behavior by getting mad at them or negotiating with them (if the relationship is salvageable). Instead, take a rest from thinking about it for 24 hours so you can come back to it with a fresh perspective and take action to get the result you want.
- Take time each day for yourself to practice stress reduction techniques like mindfulness, meditation, or yoga so that you can feel more in control of your emotions.
- Notice how you relate to other people, and if you find there are times when you’re mean, judgmental, or just plain stuck in your ways – recognize these as opportunities for growth!
- Practice gratitude daily. Use positive affirmations such as ‘I can handle anything’ or ‘I am willing to try new things. These are great because they make you act the part before you feel it.
- If you notice that specific things trigger negative emotions, try to identify what caused this and then react differently next time. Practice empathy with those around you – put yourself in their shoes so you can develop a better understanding of how they feel and why they might be reacting the way they do.
To be the best version of yourself, you need to make sure your adaptability skills are up-to-date. You also need to realize that the environment you put yourself in has a significant impact on how adaptable you genuinely are.
If you’re constantly surrounded by people who try to control or judge others and don’t offer new perspectives, it’s hard to grow outside your comfort zone.
If that’s not what you want for yourself, then make some changes to your environment (maybe a new workout group, a different job, or some other factor in your life).
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