The workplace is constantly evolving and requires a dynamic working style. A campaign that works brilliantly one day can be a flop the very next. Or the colleague you could always count on is away on vacation without warning.
We've all experienced this in recent months and years, when companies have had to adapt to the ups and downs of a pandemic. The resulting changes have been considerable. But even minor adaptations, such as new software or a new desk, can considerably disrupt the routine at work.
Change is often beyond our control. What can be controlled is our reaction. Would you like to be a rock for others in difficult times? A leader capable of guiding others with confidence? Like many other soft skills, adaptability can be learned. Developing adaptability at work means learning how to cope with inevitable change - and even how to grow from it.
What does "adaptability" in the workplace mean?
Adaptability at work means being able to react in a sovereign way to different scenarios and challenges in the workplace. It's not just about being more flexible. Adaptable people develop targeted skills, processes and systems that enable them to deal quickly and effectively with different situations.
Being adaptable helps you adapt to new situations, tasks, projects and customers. By developing this ability, you'll be able to cope with any change.
The 3 forms of adaptability
Understanding what adaptability means and what it depends on enables you to broaden your skills. The Center for Creative Leadership divides adaptability into three categories:
- Cognitive adaptability
Cognitive adaptability describes the ability to envisage different potential scenarios with different outcomes. Cognitive adaptability doesn't guarantee that you'll always make the right decision, but it does help to include structured considerations in the decision-making process.
- Emotional adaptability
Although it may sound cliché, every person is unique and differs from others in the way they think, act and work. Emotional adaptability recognizes and accepts this fact. It's a skill that enables us to deal with the most diverse personalities with empathy, even if they're very different from our own.
- Adaptability as a personality characteristic
An adaptable personality grasps at a glance a situation and the direction in which it may evolve. It recognizes imperfections, but also sees opportunities. This ingenious combination of realism and optimism is useful for dealing with all kinds of situations.
The benefits of greater adaptability at work
Those who demonstrate adaptability show that they are capable of meeting any challenge. Adaptability is a soft skill that's probably not mentioned in a LinkedIn profile, but it's among the most important skills a manager looks for when considering someone for promotion or future management.
You become more resilient. Challenging yourself not only helps develop problem-solving skills, but also improves your ability to think differentially. The more you face different challenges and develop appropriate resolution strategies, the more your ability to adapt develops. Over time, you'll recognize every new challenge as a new opportunity.
Your adaptability sets you apart from the rest. Adaptability is a special quality. Instead of feeling stressed or overwhelmed by pressure, adaptable people try to find new approaches and solutions to the current problem. Use brainstorming to see beyond the end of your nose in your search for creative solutions. This will not only help you gain confidence, but also develop the self-confidence you need to make the right decision in difficult situations, or to be the right person to talk to when things go wrong.
Adaptability is good for you. Change at work is often perceived as a constraint. But the more adaptable you are, the easier it will be to seek and find solutions. As a result, you'll develop a healthy optimism and be able to deal with situations that you used to perceive as constraints, but which are now exciting or pleasantly stimulating.
You'll acquire a highly sought-after leadership qualification. If you're adaptable, you can lead your team through different challenges and develop critical thinking skills. You are able to accept and take account of differences between team members, enabling you to communicate more effectively. Both of these skills are desirable leadership qualities.
If you spend less time worrying about how a project is going, you'll have more time to think about how to bring it to a successful conclusion and take appropriate action. By devoting more time and energy to the really achievable aspects of your job, you can also help your team to be more effective.
Sources: https: //asana.com/de/resources/workplace-adaptability-skills
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