By: Jenkins Ebiware Jr
Many of us have heard the phrase “survival of the fittest.” This is the idea that only those that can handle change and cope with adversity in a particular situation will survive. In other words, being adaptable is necessary, and it can mean the difference between your success or failure as a leader and in your business. In this article, I’ll talk about why it's important to be adaptable in the workplace and provide tips on different leadership styles you can use to adapt to different challenges.
How Adaptability Can Help You Succeed
There have been many times in my life when I’ve had an expectation that wasn’t met – and I’m willing to bet that’s true for you too. The bottom line is that what you do in the face of these challenges will determine whether you can quickly recover, reset, and get back on the path to success. If you have a setback, do you get up and keep going? Or do you give up and move onto something else? To be successful in today's professional environment, you have to learn to go with the flow. Success doesn't happen overnight and you have to be able to adapt to changing conditions to overcome failure and come out a winner.
Leadership Styles You Can Use To Become Adaptable
Some people can naturally adapt to challenges and changing conditions. If you’re one of these, then you’re in a good position. But what if this isn’t you? What if setbacks, challenges, and problems tend to send you into a panic? Is there anything you can do to increase your ability to handle these challenges?
Here are three quick tips you can do to increase your ability to adapt to challenges and go with the flow.
1. Having Contingency Plans Mean Adaptability
You should always have a Plan B. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re planning for failure. Instead, it means that you’ve given serious thought to what you’ll do if Plan A fails. Most people fail their team because of poor planning. Good leadership styles should always be laid out for the worst.
2. Practice Resilience
If you’re like most people, you probably experience many small setbacks. When these happen, pay close attention to how you react to these. Think about how you can change what you say about yourself, your internal monologue, so you can start being more positive.
3. Think Before You React
When something goes wrong, don’t react to it immediately. Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to feel the disappointment. Often, we get consumed by failure and frustration because we’re trying too hard to overcome it. It’s okay to experience failure and to feel disappointed – but it’s not okay to let it get the best of you.
Many must-have leadership skills are necessary for you to be adaptable as a professional. Being able to handle to setbacks, failures, and challenges is one of them. The good news is that these skills are easy to learn, and by following these three quick tips and practicing them daily, you’ll be well on your way to being a resilient leader that won't hesitate on constant adaptability.
But what do you do, when you've practiced these skills, become adaptable but still have a hard time accomplishing what you've set out to do?
Set Short, Realistic Goals So Adapting Isn't Disruptive
The road to success is paved through goal setting, and you certainly don't want your plans ruined because of changes. No matter how adaptable you can become, many people still struggle with getting what they really want and accomplishing the goals they’ve set. Sometimes this could be because of life circumstances, a lack of motivation, or striving for perfection. More often than not, it’s because the goal that was initially set wasn’t really achievable. So, how do you know whether a goal that you’ve set is achievable or not?
Here are a 3 quick ways to set achievable goals.
Before we get into the 3 ways to achieve your goals, let’s first be clear on what a goal is. As Napolean Hill stated "a goal is a dream with a deadline". Before you take that first step towards achieving what you want for yourself, you should first make sure that your dream is actually possible. Even if you do believe it’s possible, you must then make sure you’re capable of achieving that goal. Is it something you can work towards while taking care of your other responsibilities? Once you’ve figured this out, you can then take these 3 steps to make sure your goals are then completed.
Step 1: Know your why
It’s important for you to know exactly why you want this goal. This is crucial because this why is what’s going to get you through those times when you aren’t motivated, when you’re tired and feeling like quitting. Having a strong motivating factor will keep you energized because you have something at stake, or something important that won’t happen if this goal isn’t achieved.
Step 2: Make your goals short and simple
When you break your goals into short and simple tasks, it’s much easier to manage. We can sometimes get overwhelmed when a large, intimidating goal has been set. However, if you break that large goal into smaller and more simple goals or tasks, you can focus on exactly one thing at a time. Completing each small task will also give you a sense of accomplishment, which keeps you motivated to move onto the next and eventually getting everything done to achieve your large goal.
Step 3: Talk about your goals
When goals are set, you need an accountability partner. Someone you can talk to about what you want to achieve and what you’re working towards. Talking about your goals will help keep you on track because now that you’ve discussed your plan with someone, you won’t want to fail. They might also provide some suggestions that can help shortcut your path to achieving your goal.
Following these three steps will help with keeping you on the path to achieving any goal you set; regardless of the challenges you have to adapt to on the way. Of course, with anything you want to achieve, whether personally or professionally, taking action every step of the way is key. If you’d like to learn how to stay motivated regardless of what life might throw your way, we’d like to invite you to view an episode of our Planning for Success series, Taking Action. In this episode we’ll be talking about the things that hold a lot of people back from taking action. We’ll help you discover your motivation and show you how to recognize opportunities that will make a difference.