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How to adapt in a crisis?

In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, we are all coming to terms with new ways of working, new ways of communicating and for some of us, a new way of life. This has become inevitable as the restrictions our government has put in place means we have to change our way of thinking, working and behaving. However, even though it will always be a struggle at first, as we get used to the new “normal”, there is one word we must all keep in the forefront of our minds, adaptability. 

Adaptability is crucial, but not always easy, for everyoneIf you’re a leader or manager, you play a pivotal role in leading your team through times of change, whether that is a new way of working and communicating through this period of lockdown, or looking towards future procedures that will empower you to get through to the other side of this crisis. 

Being adaptable means you’re better able to handle any changes in your life, giving you the means to support your team and colleagues in managing the impact of this crisis. Being adaptable also means that this period of uncertainty is far less likely to impact on your mental well-being as you are not trying to resist the changes it brings. 

Below are 6 characteristics of people with high levels of ‘Adaptability’. How many can you see in yourself? 

1 Adaptable people experiment

Just because we do things in a certain way doesn’t mean it’s right for our current situation. For example, most of us have been working from home and we have adapted to that situation by experimenting with new ways of communicating with our colleagues. An adaptable person is open minded and always willing to try new ways of working, create new procedures and experiment with new methods 

2 Adaptable people are not afraid to make mistakes. 

Not every experiment we do or idea we try will work. Adaptable people see these mistakes as opportunities to learn. Failure is an essential procedure in any business for the experience, knowledge and resilience it gives us. Adaptable people learn and grow from their mistakes, passing on their experience and knowledge along the way. 

3 Adaptable people are resourceful

Adaptable people will always find solutions to the problems we are facing and will never dwell on the lack of resources at hand. They will in turn, adapt other resources and create new methods of dealing with this difficult situation. 

4 Adaptable people see the bigger picture

Adaptable people see more than the present situation. They look forward and see the wider goal of being able to come out of the other side of the crisis with minimal damage. This gives them a valuable insight and understanding of how to make things work for the better and motivates them to see beyond the many challenges we face and find solutions. 

5 Adaptable people are curious

A curious mind asks questions and doesn’t settle in the moment we are in now. Adaptable people always ask “What if…?” and want to understand why things are the way they are and how things work. They are open to investigating new opportunities and finding out what happens if we change the way are doing something. This gives them a greater awareness and understanding of the situation meaning they can adapt to change more quickly and efficiently. 

6 Adaptable people are always positive

A positive approach helps you focus on what you need to do now, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. 

Thinking about how you can develop the characteristics above will help improve your ability to become adaptable and handle the significant changes we are seeing in all our lives more effectively. 

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