Adaptability and Flexibility in the Workplace

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what does adaptability and flexibility mean?

Being adaptive means you can change to suit different conditions. Being flexible means you’re able to do this easily. If you are resilient, then you will be able to handle unexpected or difficult circumstances with ease and without too much trouble, often taking enjoyment in the change on a regular basis.

We adapt to our environment. For example, we adapt to different types of weather and temperature changes throughout the year. We adapt to situations like being asked questions in class or when doing an interview. Our brain adapts by learning new skills and remembering things better. This is how we are able to do well at school, gain employment and get along with people.

We adapt to situations and changes in a variety of ways. We adapt by talking face-to-face or via text messages, on social media, email etc. This way we can adapt no matter where we are or who we’re with. We adapt our topic of conversation because there are different types of people that we adapt to. We adapt with our body language depending on the person that we are talking to and how they adapt or don’t adapt to us.

People who adapt easily tend to adjust well to new situations, environments and changes in demands or expectations. They can do this by reorganising their behaviour, skills, knowledge and attitude depending on the situation. For example, adaptable people adapt their appearance (e.g., by changing what they’re wearing) or adapt their behaviour to create a good first impression on others.

Someone who is adaptable adapts quickly. They adapt their skills, attitudes and knowledge easily without needing much time to make the change or difference needed for them to adapt. Their adaptability makes them able to keep up with new things better.

Flexibility is another aspect of adaptability and adapts quickly too. People who are flexible adapt their behaviour, response and attitude easily depending on the situation or person they’re talking to or what’s happening around them. They can do this by adapting the way they communicate, adapt their opinion or adapt to change. They adapt easily by changing what they’re doing, the way they’re doing something and adapt in a positive way. Their flexibility makes it easier for them to adapt because of the quick changes that can be made when needed.

Being resilient means you adapt well with your personality and behaviour as well adapts well to new situations, environments and changes in demands or expectations. They adapt quickly by changing what they’re doing and adapt to change easily too.


 How to improve your adaptability and flexibility skills? 

There is no doubt that constant change is a big part of our lives. However, how we react to it can have a big impact on our performance and wellbeing. Some people are more flexible than others, but there are ways in which we can all become more adaptable:-

Try not to feel stressed because you need to change something quickly. Think about the reasons that you need to change things and then work out a way in which you can deal with them. Once you know what needs doing, try to visualise yourself doing it successfully. This will allow you to relax and give your mind a chance to come up with good solutions.

If your boss is putting pressure on you then try and explain the situation to them. This might sound difficult but it will help you remain calm and in control of your emotions. The more you can do this the easier it will be for you to find a solution that works for everyone involved.

If you want something, think about why you want it and then work out how realistic your wants are. If you are not sure about this, talk to someone who can help.

If there is a big change at work, such as a reorganisation for example, try and see it as an opportunity for you to develop yourself. By being open-minded and exploring new strategies and approaches you will discover your full potential.

If there has been one change that you do not like or agree with, then try and see if there is something positive about it. This will help you to feel better about the situation in general and so deal with things more positively.

If you find yourself thinking of all the problems that a change brings, try and think of what solutions might be available instead. By doing this you should be able to remain calm and focus on the possible ways in which things can improve.

As with most of our ‘how to’ solutions, there is no magic solution here.   By thinking about change in different ways you will become more adaptable and so be better able to deal with it when it happens.


Adaptability Skills Training


  • eSoft Skills Team

    The eSoft Editorial Team, a blend of experienced professionals, leaders, and academics, specializes in soft skills, leadership, management, and personal and professional development. Committed to delivering thoroughly researched, high-quality, and reliable content, they abide by strict editorial guidelines ensuring accuracy and currency. Each article crafted is not merely informative but serves as a catalyst for growth, empowering individuals and organizations. As enablers, their trusted insights shape the leaders and organizations of tomorrow.

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