Don’t Stop Here

Lady Gaga Epitomizes This Soft Skill – How To Tell If You Lack It, And How To Quickly Get It

"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change" - Charles Darwin. Though Darwin was speaking about animal species, if he were alive today, he'd likely point to Lady Gaga as a prime example of his philosophy.

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Having successfully transitioned from waitress to singer/songwriter to Oscar-nominated actress, Lady Gaga is someone who embodies adaptability.

Adaptability,  or the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions, is a hot career commodity. Last month, LinkedIn released its annual Global Talent Trends 2019 report, which touted “soft skills” (interpersonal traits and skills that are crucial for business success) as a big trend fueling the future of the workplace. Cited in LinkedIn’s report as one of the soft skills most in-demand by employers? Adaptability.

And it’s no wonder.

In the business world, change happens. A lot. Between mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and changes in management, those who remain flexible hold the key to career success. Maintaining the ability to adapt your thinking and actions to handle unforeseen circumstances can help position you as an indispensable member of the team who can roll with the punches.

But even with the best intentions, people may be unwittingly resistant to change. Here are three clues to see if you might be lacking adaptability—and how to quickly course correct:

1. You find yourself saying, “Because we’ve always done it this way” or “Things were better back when we…..” and then freak out when change happens.

I have bad news: you’re a curmudgeon stuck in a rut. Either by fear or lack of awareness, you resist new ways of doing things and wax on about the “good ol’ days.” And no one wants to be around someone who can’t handle when things don’t go as planned.

How to course correct: 

When you find yourself yearning for the way things were, pause and give yourself a reality check. Most of us tend to view the past with rose colored glasses, and quickly forget the problems we dealt with in those supposed “good ‘ol days.” When you’re adaptable, you’re open to changes that could help you be more productive and efficient with time, and financial and human resources.

You also demonstrate your adaptability by your reaction when faced with unexpected challenges and changing circumstances. Leaders who keep calm and confident under pressure set the tone their teams, who often take their cues from management.

2. You treat every employee you manage the same.

You’re trying to be fair, so you employ the same management methods with every member of your team, regardless of their needs, and expect them to conform

How to course correct:

When you manage a team, you can’t adopt a one-size-fits-all mentality. People are individuals, with unique needs. Some require lots of guidance and feedback to perform at their best. Others would rather you give them plenty of room to do their jobs, but be available should they have a question or need backup. Take the time to learn about what your direct reports need, and then adapt your style to serve them. Ask them what their goals are and what you can do to support them. Doing so sends a message that you care, and are willing to invest your efforts to help them grow.

3. You notice people don’t ask you for your ideas.

Uh oh. You’re in the danger zone of quickly becoming irrelevant. People see you as someone lacking vision, skills, and knowledge for the future.

How to course correct:

Offer up alternative solutions, even—and especially— when initial ideas are turned down. Not sure how to do that? Adjust your mindset to consider the possibilities and ask “What if?” and to better connect the dots for others. Adaptable people understand that thinking through and offering many possible scenarios will help them arrive at a favorable option, even if it’s not the first suggestion.

And along the same lines, let your curiosity guide you in acquiring new skills and diverse knowledge. Demonstrate to your boss that you’re willing to stretch yourself by volunteering for new assignments and offering to become the expert at new technology. By looking for opportunities to showcase your adaptability, you’ll increase your experience, and position yourself as someone who is adept at change.

In today’s ever-evolving global marketplace, possessing adaptability isn’t just a nicety; it’s essential for survival.

Source: Forbes


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