Highlight on Adaptability – Strengths 101
What does it mean to have “Adaptability” as a strength?
How do you adapt to change? This may have been asked to you in an interview before. While adaptability is a trait that can be nurtured, some of us have this talent naturally. According to Gallup, “People exceptionally talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.”
Those high in Adaptability feel that they are the creators of their own destinies and futures as authors writing the next chapter in the book of life each day. With this being said, those with Adaptability live in the moment. This is the best way to take charge of your life and take advantage of each situation.
After all, life is full of surprises and unexpectancies whether we like it or not. We cannot always control what is thrown our way, so the best we can do for ourselves is to make the most of the moment. With this mindset, the Adaptability strength allows people to alter like a chameleon – they fit the needs of their surroundings.
“Those high in Adaptability feel that they are the creators of their own destinies and futures as authors writing the next chapter in the book of life each day.”
Of the four domains, Adaptability resides in the relationship building domain. Intuitively, you may think that Adaptability would fall under the executing or the strategic domain since being adaptable in a situation implies that you can get things done and be productive in the face of adversity. In this case, Adaptability, as perfectly described by Maika Leibbrandt in an interview, “is this desire to stay present with other people.” Adaptability helps people build relationships because it gives them the ability to meet people where they’re at. It allows those on the receiving end to feel understood and seen.
During COVID times, you can turn to people with Adaptability to help keep calm as they are poised to respond timely to urgent needs. Especially during unprecedented times, they are the ones that can navigate attention and energy and guide the team in a new direction. Those with Adaptability, especially, should be called to help in this situation because they find it easier to work with people that have different thought processes than them.
“During COVID times, you can turn to people with Adaptability to help keep calm as they are poised to respond timely to urgent needs.”
Now is the time to really hone in on the Adaptability strength of those that have it on your team. They expect roadblocks and obstacles in the natural state of life. When leading and working through COVID, these are the people that are likely best to handle the chaos and rapid change of the business world. They are always poised to manage change from all directions and have a flexible mentality to meet people where they are at to bring them along for the ride.
If you manage someone with an Adaptability strength, give them tasks that need immediate attention. Adapters would work best on teams where they can encourage others to see the value and importance of seizing opportunities at the moment before they slip away. They are also great at building relationships with others since they are fully present, which makes others feel valued in conversation.
If you work with someone with Adaptability on a team, you can expect that they will be responsive to the immediate needs and concerns that arise on a team. They will not hesitate to give their attention to the task at hand and ensure important details are up to date. They will thrive when they are tasked with to-dos that have a variety which adds excitement to their daily workflow.
“Adapters would work best on teams where they can encourage others to see the value and importance of seizing opportunities at the moment before they slip away.”
Others that do not have an adaptable focus may find Adapters to be too hasty and lack stability and ability to plan. Managers may view these employees as having no direction and don’t know what to expect from their work. In some cases, this might show to be true since Adapters might miss deadlines or fall off of track because their attention is always being diverted to the newest distraction or urgent issue. While Adapters may appear to have their priorities all over the place and are in need of structure, don’t give them routine. This will make them feel complacent and even drained.
To best harness Adaptability, potentially partner this person with someone who has a Discipline strength to maintain balance on a team. Utilize Adaptability to not only get things done but also in the visionary sense to bring others together. If you have Adaptability, you can learn even more about how to hone in on the Adaptability strength.
Churchill is certified and highly experienced at delivering the Gallup programs including Building a Strengths-Based-Organization. Learn more about our Strengths-Based Organization program here.
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