Why should we develop our adaptability and flexibility skills? The pandemic may have shown us how important they can be, but that’s a pretty extreme example! However, these skills can also be valuable in everyday life. It’s why they are sought after amongst employers. But before we look at some of the advantages they give us, let’s distinguish the difference between being flexible and adaptable.
Flexibility and Adaptability – What’s The Difference?
While it might seem that they’re two words for the same thing, there is a subtle difference between the two. Flexibility is associated with being "short-term" or meeting in the middle. For example, you might be flexible enough to change the day of an appointment as a one-off. However, adaptability is considered more “long-term” – it’s more of a permanent change. It's fair to say that a year-long pandemic that's altered nearly every aspect of our life has required adaptability! But what are the benefits to these skills?
Overcome More Obstacles
As much as we like to plan, things don’t always run smoothly and inevitably, we end up facing obstacles. For example, as a mumpreneur, you might find that your marketing is not getting the number of sales you want. Or, as a mum, it could be that you face a challenge with your child’s behaviour and your usual discipline methods aren’t working.
You might have heard the phrase, "do the same things, and you'll get the same results", and it's true. Flexibility is required to overcome an obstacle as you need to consider other options. For example, in business, you might need to use alternative marketing methods. As a parent, you might need to try different ways of influencing your child's behaviour. However, if you need to make a permanent change such as dropping the naughty step in favour of a reward chart or changing the social media platforms you use in your business, then you’ll need adaptability.
Developing these skills will mean you can much more easily overcome obstacles in life and business.
Be More Successful
But it doesn't just help you hurdle the obstacles. These soft skills also mean you are better at finding solutions. With flexibility, you are more open to alternatives – you are more willing to hear them from others and more likely to develop additional options yourself.
Not only are you able to remove the things that get in your way, but you're also able to see more ways to move forward. This combination means that you significantly increase your chances of achieving success. This is true whether it’s something in your personal or professional life.
Imagine you want to develop a new hobby to have some quality time doing something for you. When you’re flexible and adaptable, you’ll be willing to try more options and will be more effective at problem-solving should issues arise.
Finally, being flexible and adaptable means you experience far less stress – and who doesn’t want that! Much of our stress can come from what we are focusing on. For example, if your child is behaving in a less than desirable way, it can cause us a lot of anxiety as we wonder why they won't do as we ask. When you develop these skills, however, we instead become solution-focused. Rather than worrying about the behaviour, we look at the different options we have to solve it. This reduces our stress, and we become more productive.
But how do you become more flexible and adaptable? We’ll be tackling that in our next blog post later this month. Remember, if this is something that you feel you need help with, you can contact me to find out more about how I can help.
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