Bending and Flexing With Changes

Boost Adaptability


George Bernard Shaw said the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in adapting the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on man’s unreasonableness.


The ability to adapt is not innate but rather a learned intellectual habit. Being able to quickly learn new abilities and behaviors in reaction to shifting circumstances is a critical component of this type of leadership competency, which requires both emotional and social intelligence. These days, the normal stresses that life brings are compounded by extraneous stresses from the outside world, which add so many unknowns and make us feel like we have so little control over them.


Why is adaptability so important? Being able to respond to shifting trends in change, innovation, destabilization, and movements in industry, among other things, is an essential micro-skill of adaptability. For instance, even though there is a lot of attention being paid to how Artificial Intelligence is affecting automation, its usage has already expanded outside the manufacturing business. As a result, those who are employed need to advance along with this invention as well as the one that comes after it, but the shifts in technology are only part of the picture. When a company’s business model is no longer successful and the revenue is falling, the employees who are able to adapt by reducing costs, thinking differently, and most importantly, looking into the future and seeing the way forward are the ones who will carry the company forward through these difficult times and see it through to success. On the other hand, employees who claim a particular standard of conducting business are ultimately responsible for the company’s decline.


Becoming more adaptable: During phases of change, our methods of thinking need to be revised, and we need to let go of the idea that “this is how we’ve always done it.” Accepting change and viewing it as a chance to grow, learn, and improve is a healthy response to the fact that change can be frightening and overwhelming. Additionally, it may facilitate the development of creative potential. On the other hand, this necessitates being receptive to the viewpoints and ideas of other people.


It is impossible to make progress without taking some risks, although the whole concept of risk can make some individuals feel so uncomfortable that they want to run as far away from it as possible. Leaders that are flexible bring out potential risks during team meetings and lay the groundwork for support. Because of this way of thinking, those leaders are able to keep an open mind and foster an environment of honesty in the workplace. This urges others to do the same, creating a more open atmosphere around them, and hopefully, shutting down closed mindsets, which may compromise the whole transformation process.


Flexible Way of Thinking


Splitting change scenarios into smaller groups is a powerful strategy to explore the situation better and understand the combination of the variety of angles that created that situation. Here are some ideas to approach change with an open mind and think of them as an opportunity to improve the system and relationships:


  • First, be clear about what change is about to happen. And remember, different people may have different views of what that situation is.
  • Second, Put aside your disagreements for the time being and actively listen to others with the goal of coming to the realization that there is likely a great deal of potential for innovation if you are able to do so.
  • Third, In order to come up with possible solutions to the change, encourage everyone involved to participate in a brainstorming session, write down all of their ideas, and then compile a list of the available possibilities.


Analytical thinking is similar to when you leave your computer on and all of your programs continue to operate for days without restarting or shutting down the computer. It will eventually start acting jerkily and working more slowly, at which point you will have to either turn it off or restart it. The same is true for our brains; our bodies were made to react to brief bouts of stress; however, when stress lasts for an extended period of time, and the stress response is triggered repeatedly and regularly – as it can occur in stressful jobs or relationships – the situation transforms into one of chronic stress, and we run the risk of experiencing burnout. Burnout is the typical outcome when we engage the brain in continuing and rigid processes.


We should give ourselves permission to take a step back from rigid processes and analytical thinking. We should also take a step back from stressful situations and give our minds permission to return to their center. To relax our brain and tune into our body. We can use mindfulness or any other technique, like the breath technique or the body scan technique, or physical exercises.


There are two different types of emotional intelligence, both of which are important when it comes to maintaining a healthy balance. The first type, known as intrapersonal intelligence, refers to our capacity to control our own thoughts and feelings. Through this ability, we determine whether or not to have a positive or negative reaction to each new experience that arises in our lives. The second type of intelligence is called interpersonal intelligence, and it enables us to constructively handle the feelings of other people.


Here are some pointers to help you comprehend the feelings of others and cope with them: 


  • Take careful note of their actions in the present, such as the way they use their hands, the tone of their voice, and whether or not their face is growing flushed.
  •  Pay attention to signs such as these so that you may manage the dynamics of the conversation before it goes in unwelcome directions. 
  • Make introspective statements and offer open-ended follow-up questions, such as “I see that you’re unhappy. What’s going on?” They will start telling you their narrative as a result of this. If you ask them questions and encourage them to open up about how they feel about the situation, their brain will receive powerful signals that you are trying to understand how they are feeling.


Leadership Curiosity


Listening carefully and trying to comprehend what others are saying is essential to becoming a flexible leader and being able to affect positive change. It is critical to obtain the facts from all parties involved, and you should never base significant judgments on only one side of a story, regardless of who is providing that side (it could be you). Although it may appear to be self-evident, you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t do this. There are always two sides to a story. It is essential to people’s ability to communicate with you that you make them feel welcome and at ease to do so. This is something that takes place when you engage in active listening with the intention of comprehending the circumstance from a variety of perspectives prior to elaborating on how your perspective pertains to the circumstance.


When was the last time you made a judgment about someone without first discussing it in an open and honest manner with that person? Have you inquired as to their viewpoint and been open to listening, truly listening in order to comprehend, as opposed to only listening, in order to respond and talk? Agile leaders have an open mindset, are patient, and listen carefully to what others have to offer. In point of fact, if you listen to other people, including those with whom you disagree, you open yourself up to fresh ideas and experiences that broaden your perspective. Having the ability to think creatively and come up with novel solutions can be of great value during times of upheaval. There are some skills that you can develop and tools that you can learn about that will get you ahead of the game.


Having a growth mindset is one of these abilities, and it’s vital to building adaptability, which is a leadership competency in emotional intelligence. Another one of these skills is being able to communicate effectively. There are primarily two ways of thinking about navigating life, growth and fixed mindsets; It is vital for one’s success to adopt a growth attitude. The concept of growth intelligence implies that we can get wiser and make better decisions as a result of amassing experiences and refining our behavior. Specifically, it is the notion that intellect can be developed. Because it is founded on self-limiting beliefs and restricted ways of thinking, having a fixed mindset can prevent us from achieving our goals.


Research on brain plasticity has demonstrated that the connectivity between neurons can alter as a result of experience. With practice, neural networks form new connections, strengthen existing connections, and insulate themselves to increase the speed at which impulses can be sent. These discoveries in neuroscientific research have taught us that the actions we perform, such as employing effective methods, inquiring about topics of interest, practicing, and adhering to healthy eating and sleeping patterns, can affect and accelerate the growth of our brain networks.