Business is ever-changing. To stay level-headed in the face of hirings, firings, mergers, workflow changes, a shift to remote work, or any other sudden shift, it’s important to become adaptable and flexible.
Adaptability is a soft skill that means you’re able to quickly and easily adjust to new situations or curveballs. In the workplace, this can be an especially helpful skill, as it will prevent you from getting overwhelmed or stressed out and unable to complete your work following any big changes.
If you’re not adaptable at the current moment, don’t fret. Adaptability skills can be learned over time with patience and practice. Let’s dive into what workplace adaptability looks like.
Examples of Adaptability Skills
Within the umbrella of “adaptability,” there are several skills and traits that are helpful. These traits can be worked on and improved to create an overall more adaptable mindset.
A few examples of adaptability skills are:
These things are all part of what makes someone more adaptable. For example, an empathetic person who is faced with a sudden change may put themselves in the other person’s shoes to understand it better, or a creative person may be able to pivot their workflow to adjust quickly to something new.
How to Build Adaptability Skills at Work
It’s inevitable that you’re going to feel upset at work. But it’s how we deal with those feelings that can make or break our attitude (and reputation). Here are some ways to make yourself a more adaptable person.
Communication is key for every office. And when you’re working to become more adaptable, it can be hugely beneficial. Ask questions as they arise, talk about your feelings with your coworkers and managers, and clear up any misunderstandings or misconceptions. This will not only make sure you’re on the same page as everyone else, but can also make sure you’re feeling heard and respected.
Tip: If a big change is coming your way, schedule meetings or lunches with coworkers and management to talk it out.
Times of change can make everyone feel vulnerable, which is why it’s an especially important time to be open with your coworkers about your feelings and your workflow. Make sure you aren’t afraid to give upward feedback, point out any problems that arise, or discuss your hesitations with the team. Usually, these things can help the company grow.
Tip: Make a list of notes about any changes your organization is undergoing to bring to a 1v1 meeting with your boss.
Mindfulness is an extremely helpful practice for many people — inside and outside of work. It can be hugely beneficial to mental wellbeing. To practice mindfulness, start to focus on grounding yourself, breathing, and experiencing your emotions. From there, challenge yourself to think critically about your feelings and clear up any anger or stress you’re experiencing. This can help you approach situations with a level head.
Tip: Take a few minutes to stretch or meditate at your desk and get yourself into a mindful mood.
For more information on workplace adaptability, check out the following infographic from Velocity Global.