Do you consider yourself an adaptable person?

In your everyday life, as well as at work, your ability and willingness to adapt to change is your pass to increase communication, build more relationships, enjoy your work, and live better. Have you ever thought about your job in 15 years? What will the professional and business arenas look like? No matter what kind of challenges and changes will arise, having a good dose of adaptability will be your secret weapon. Let’s take a look at its intrinsic meaning, and at how you can improve it.

What is adaptability?

Adaptability means to change your actions in order to do things to suit a new situation. The concept of adaptability refers to the ability and the willingness of a person to adapt his approach to a changed situation. Adaptability comprises two other key factors: flexibility and versatility. If you are a person who has a great spirit of adaptability, you will also be a flexible and versatile individual.

Flexibility is your willingness to adapt. It represents your attitude.

Versatility is your ability to adapt. It represents your instinct.

Naturally, the level of one’s adaptability is correlated to the various situations and also to the person one is dealing with. For example, when you meet someone, especially at work, you will tend to be more adaptable, more tolerant. At home instead, you tend to be less adaptable and less tolerant because you know your family members very well, and depending on the situation, you might not want to be flexible at times. 

If you are flexible you will also be an emphatic person and essentially positive, and open to change; you will be willing to consider and accept opinions and approaches different from your own. If you are not flexible instead, you will tend to be rigid, always in competition with others, and difficult to relate to; also, a person with no or little flexibility is never really happy about the way things work.

A person with versatility, will also be someone with resilience, vision, awareness, and competence. This person will have the propensity to problem-solving, and when an issue cannot be resolved, he will find a workaround or someone who can solve it. A person who is not versatile, will tend to be resistant to other options or scenarios, he will be single-minded, and very individualistic.

What are the advantages of adaptability?

Being an employee with adaptability skills is a resource. Being a company with a great spirit of adaptability, can make the difference between success and failure. Take Polaroid for instance, the company chose not to adapt to the changing world and instead of jumping into the digital photography revolution, decided to stick with paper print. As a consequence, the company filed for bankruptcy.

Being adaptable is a crucial skill that has no limitations in the ways it can be applied at work, and in your personal life. 

With adaptability,

1. A company will always be current, and competitive. 

People and companies who are willing to take risks, and leave behind the old ways of doing things, will stay relevant over time; they will be able to catch the waves of progress, and surf them with ability and confidence. Be bold and do not shy away from new approaches, and new techniques. In the last twenty years, business has changed dramatically, and if you will not ride the course of adaptability constantly, sooner or later you will be left behind. 

2. A leader will feed his talent and efficiency.

A leader with adaptability is aware that change is an opportunity, and he will accept it with a positive attitude. A leader with a good sense of adaptability will keep his employees motivated through change. Change is inevitable and a leader knows that staying open-minded, creativity and productivity will rise bringing solutions, and unexpected results.

3. A company and an employee will accept difficulties with a positive disposition.

If you are adaptable you will work and think without mental barriers. You will work with a variety of people and find ways to elevate their enthusiasm and engagement through the waves of change. Being adaptable at work means working with no limits, no fears, no anxiety. 

How to improve your spirit of adaptability?

Can you develop a sense of adaptability? The answer is Yes! Here is how: 

Accept the fact that changes are bound to happen:If a product you sell is no longer desired in the marketplace, don’t find useless justifications to make it better in your mind, accept it and move on! 

Study the way change occurs around you:Adaptability has to kick in at the right time. When you notice changes around you, you will understand that a change is necessary. Try to monitor flows, attitudes, styles, and shifts, and use databases to compare old data to new ones. The difference between those old and new data will give you the solution on what needs to be done NOW.

Be inclined to learn:Once you study and interpret your data, you will discover where your changes have to take place. Maybe you need to modify your sales approach, or invest in new tools; most likely, you will need to abandon your comfort zone along with the instinct to remain within your boundaries. Whatever it is, get out of the comfort and learn new ways to grow!

Learn from others: In order to become an adaptable person at work, it is critical to observe the way others manage change, and how they adapt. If there is a specific person you admire for his adaptability skills, observe those skills or ask questions. This way you will learn how the skills are used within the company; you will then take that baseline to apply it in the future.

Embrace mistakes: Guess what? No one is perfect! Even though it can be irritating to make mistakes, what matters is how you handle the post-mistakes phase. In this phase, you will develop and improve even your adaptability skills. Learn from your mistakes, don’t rush and instead take time to reflect, find new ways to work, adapt to the new routine, and realize that the way you manage your errors will feed your spirit of adaptability. 

Do not procrastinate:Be proactive when it comes to delivering action. It is always much easier to adapt to a situation when the action has been taken ahead of time, and most of all, ahead of the competition.


Among all the different soft skills, adaptability is the one that will give you the possibility to grow, stay current, and have a real chance to compete. Learning to adapt to change is not an easy task, but it will draw the line between success and failure. To build and maintain a successful company today, you need to innovate and take risks every single day. Adaptability, along with patience, and the willingness to listen to yourself, is absolutely critical in today’s business world.

If you are looking to hire employees capable to comprehend and manage changing scenarios, you should look for people with a good sense of adaptability. Those are the people that will react to challenging situations in the most effective way, those are the people you want on your side.