Leaders, Use These 3 Strategies for Greater Adaptability in the New Workplace

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According to a report by the World Economic Forum, adaptability is one of the most essential skills leaders need right now and in the future.

As workplaces fill up with employees who have worked remotely during the global pandemic, leaders must adapt quickly to succeed during what has been called the New Workplace.

The combination of challenges like market uncertainties, hybrid workplace teams and staff resigning more frequently to pursue new opportunities or more ideal work arrangements, has accelerated the need for leaders to be super adaptable.

Adaptability at work is about being able to skillfully handle change while staying focused and attentive to your team members, customers, and of course, your goals.

Did you know that a “lack of adaptability” is one of the most cited reasons that a leader’s career may not be as successful as possible?

As a leader, your ability to demonstrate adaptability to change has never mattered more. Your team looks to you for direction and is heavily influenced by how you show up. For example, if your team perceives you responding negatively to a company-wide change, they will likely:
-Create a negative bias in how they perceive the change
-Generate a ton of resistance that you’ll have to manage,
-Cause massive drops in productivity, and
-Potentially put projects at risk for failure.

What about you? Do you see yourself as someone who adapts to change easily or resists it? Signs that you are resisting change include:
-Having automatic adverse responses to new situations /multiple demands,
-Showing anger or frustration when priorities shift, even when it’s necessary for the greater good, or
-Bein unable to adjust to fluid situations that keep changing.

By not demonstrating adaptability, you risk being perceived by colleagues or team members as someone who blocks progress, stifles innovation, and hurts employee morale by not supporting change that’s critical for future growth.

Maybe you see yourself as an adaptable leader a lot of the time, but you’d like to focus on strengthening your adaptability muscles to be more confident.

The good news is anyone can learn how to become more adaptable with practice. The process to becoming more adaptable begins with greater self-awareness and emotional self-control.

Here are 3 simple strategies to jumpstart your journey towards feeling more confident in your ability to adapt:

1. Try doing new and different activities regularly to get more comfortable with being outside of your comfort zone. For example, you could be intentional about meeting new people regularly. Having conversations with people you don’t know will definitely stretch you to adapt! Another example would be to take a class to learn something new (i.e.,pickleball, drawing, adopting a plant-based diet) that will require you to have a beginner’s mind and adapt over and over as you master a new skill.

2. Recognize if you get triggered by any kind of change so you can better manage your emotional response to it. Even as leaders, we often don’t have all of the information we need to understand why a change is necessary. Not knowing all of the details about a change can trigger us in a negative way. Once you’re aware of your automatic response patterns to change, you’re better equipped to handle them and chose how you want to respond. Sometimes past experiences create triggers that inhibit our openness to change. For example, if you’re facing a change at work that sounds similar to one you had a bad experience with in the past, or at another company, your automatic response might be “here we go again,” so you’re not open to the positive possibilities the change could bring.

3. Choose not to prejudge change as always negative. Sometimes when facing change, we feel stuck because we’re confused, or not sure about the impacts of a change, or we really like how the status quo and don’t understand why any change is necessary. To become more adaptable, choose to be curious about it and ask a lot of questions before making assumptions. Be open to the possibility that a change may work out far better than what you anticipated at first.

There are many benefits to being adaptable in today world – benefits that serve us, our team members, customers and the organizations we work for every day.

As the English naturalist, geologist and biologist Charles Darwin said,“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent.It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

If you’d like to know more about how I help leaders advance their ability to adapt in ever-changing environments, schedule a 15-minute call with me athttps://go.oncehub.com/call-with-jennell-evansor email me at jevans@strategicinteractions.com.

Together, we can figure out if I can help you in your leadership journey.

All the best,

Jennell

Jennell Evans, MA, CMMIEmotional Intelligence | Mindfulness | Remote Leadership Advisor & Speaker jevans@strategicinteractions.com

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