12 Characteristics of Adaptable People

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change,” said Charles Darwin. Successful, happy people are people who adapt to change and ride the wave.


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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change,” said Charles Darwin. Successful, happy people are people who adapt to change and ride the wave.

Businesses who succeed, have leadership at the steer who are not afraid to change with the times, modify their innovations, and adjust or rework their practices.

Given how important adaptability is within an organisation, just how adaptable are you or your team members to aid the business?

“Things change. The only thing constant is change. It’s up to you to be adaptable.” - Anonymous.

Learn to adopt and practice the following characteristics:

12 Characteristics you need to Adopt to be Adaptable

  1. Embrace change. This means don’t freak out. Welcome change. Simply remain calm and focused when change presents itself. Evaluate the situation rationally and steadily. Then, determine the way forward.
  2. Become the change you want to see. If you feel unhappy in your job, for example, try focusing on the positives, try self-motivation, try communication etc. Start changing the “man/woman in the mirror” and their habits before you expect anything or anyone to change.
  3. Practice being Flexible. Have a flexible mindset. Try being spontaneous once in a while, whether it be with decision making or as simple as going on a spur-of-the-moment mini break over a weekend. This will help you get out of your comfort zone. Practice flexibility daily and don’t get angry when things don’t go exactly as you planned. Learn to roll with the punches, adapt and change or make peace with the situation.
  4. Be willing to experiment. Try out new ideas, innovation, or technology. Search online for free programmes that might make organising your day easier. Try an online grocery shopping app. Be open-minded and try new ways of doing normal things as well as at work. This too will help you get out of your comfort zone.
  5. Accept failure and learn from it. Become unafraid to fail. Rather see it as a learning opportunity and grow from it. Sometimes, something can’t change, and it is merely something that needs to be accepted.
  6. Get into the habit of positive self-talk. What you think you believe, you become. You begin to have a mental block when your inner voice keeps telling you, you can’t do something, or it is impossible. Rather focus on telling yourself that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
  7. Be mindful. Be present. Don’t dwell on past experiences and don’t worry too much about the future. Rather deal with the current issues at hand. Adopt a mindful approach to daily problems and engage with your co-workers in the now. Have a balance in all aspects of your life so that when a change presents itself, you can handle it rationally.
  8. Find and observe a mentor. Learn how to be adaptable by having a mentor whom you admire and who have these characteristics. If you have such a mentor, chances are pretty good that you will follow their example.
  9. Be inquisitive. Never stop asking “why?” People with curiosity are eager to investigate and explore issues, ultimately arriving at the most innovative solutions.
  10. Work together. Be a team player. Adaptable people are team players with a high level of tolerance. This helps them embrace diversity as a positive competitive advantage within their teams and in the workplace.
  11. Don’t shift the blame. People who welcome change and are adaptable take responsibility for their decisions. When at fault they admit it, learn from it, rectify it, and move on.
  12. There is no place for complaining. When you are an adaptable person you embrace the change, welcome the adversity, and see the positive side in all situations. They don’t sit in a corner and whine or wait for someone to come to their rescue. They act.

Adaptability in people showcase their ability to be resourceful. It displays critical thinking, leadership skills, determination etc. Employers always look at these valuable qualities when hiring.

John Roper said: “We learn flexibility and adaptability.” Like all life skills, becoming a person who is adaptable and flexible can be learned. With everything that happened these last 2 years, people were forced to adapt to change. Are you and your team flexible and adaptable? A short course will assist your team to develop this crucial skill necessary for your employees to work together and is essential for your business to grow. Visit www.themindspa.co.za for all our course outlines.

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