Professional Feature: Adaptability


About The Professional Feature 'Adaptability'

Adaptability means: continue to work efficiently under changing circumstances by constantly adapting to the environment, tasks, responsibilities, and / or people.

What does that mean in concrete terms?

Suppose your company is reorganized. That can mean for you: new tasks, a different workplace, suddenly having to collaborate with unknown colleagues, arranging all sorts of small and large jobs. In such a situation you still know how to keep calm and you feel at ease. You adapt without immediately complaining and saying no to everything that happens around you. You investigate what has priority and with which task you can best start. If necessary, adjust your schedule accordingly. You want to cooperate in everything, so that this reorganization runs smoothly.

That seems easy, but it's not. Sometimes you will have to swallow if some of your own ideas or goals suddenly disappear into the trash due to such an intervention. Adjusting yourself to the opinion of your boss or employees also requires the necessary self-control. And you always keep an eye on your own interests, although there is no room for that at that moment.

Which competencies are involved?

- Empathy. You show respect for other people's wishes and ideas and you try to understand their situation. Instead of an earlier-was-everything-better mentality, you are open to innovation.
- Discipline: You have self-control and you comply with the (reasonable) requirements that your company places on you and your working environment.
- Working together: You show your willingness to actively work with your team as soon as changes occur.
- Handling stress: You can deal well with the workload that, for example, a reorganization entails. You keep an overview and continue to work on your tasks, even if there is chaos around you.
- Flexibility: For example, if the situation requires that you suddenly have to take care of a project with an inexperienced colleague, then you will not be a problem. You don't resist fiercely and don't try to push your way through at any cost.
- Switch quickly: You can easily switch from one task to another. You also quickly feel at home in a new role / workplace / situation.
- Assertiveness: You formulate your opinion in an honest and decisive manner. You say what it says without bothering people.

In which professions do you need this competency?

You need adaptability for, among other things, support functions and professions in which you often have to advise and / or collaborate. Some examples:

AA accountant Consultant Buyer office manager Funeral director Not to learn

Adaptability is a characteristic that can hardly be learned in a course or training. That is because it's in our human nature that we want things to go the same way every time they happen. Not because we are rigid by nature, but because it helps us understand the world and our place in it. This is called consistency in psychology. When changes happen around us, we quickly feel resistance, because we experience an 'inconsistency'. Things are not going as expected. If those changes are imposed on us by others (a reorganization, a new computer system at work), it can be accompanied by a feeling that we are 'wrongfully' restricted. It is precisely this feeling of injustice that makes us resist. We have a complete lack of adaptability .

This is the reason that it's so important that organizations facing a major change create support for that change. In this way, people feel involved in a change and they have a lesser sense of being instructed. The trick is to make people part or partly 'owner' of a change at the right time. They will then adjust more easily. Just providing information or providing information is never enough in such a case.

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