If there is anything the past two and half years have taught us, we need to be adaptable. We need to adapt, or we will quickly be unable to function professionally or personally. Look at how much has changed with how we travel, work, socialize, and even buy groceries. Things have changed, and you’ve had to change with them. Have you changed kicking and screaming, or have you been pretty adaptable even when you disagree with the changes?
An Adaptability Quotient measures your ability to adapt and is similar to IQ, which measures intelligence, or EQ which measures emotional intelligence.
If I were to ask you if you are adaptable, you would probably laugh and say, “Yes, of course, I have to be.” Yet, we don’t like to adapt. Our brain likes things the way they are, especially if we don’t understand why we need to be adaptable.
We think we are adaptable, yet we are typically only adaptable when we understand what needs to be adapted and agree with it.
Let’s assume your company decided that it wanted to open up an entirely different market. For whatever reason, they no longer want you to work Monday-Friday 9-5. They want you to work every second day from 6 pm to 6 am, three days per week. They want you to be in the office those hours, no more work from home at all. They want to change all the systems overnight, such as moving from MSOffice to GSuite. You no longer have a traditional reporting structure and are only measured and evaluated by your peers. The system works in that you are still working the same number of hours per week, so your pay isn’t changing, but your pay is the only thing that is staying the same.
This is a major change, and with only this information, it is hard to understand why the company wants to do this or what the benefits are to this major level of change. Are you adaptable to this new style of working? Are you complaining to anyone who will listen? Are you trying to make an exception for you to remain on MSOffice, working from home or traditional hours?
To improve your AQ, we know we need to embrace change because that change will happen whether you want it to or not. You know you can’t prevent it but can learn to embrace it. Not all change is bad, and some of it is inevitable and necessary.
- Give yourself choices. Part of the reason we struggle with our AQ is that we feel out of control. Feeling in control is a big part of your AQ. Much of the pandemic was beyond our control, but we could control who we saw, where we went, and what we did to a certain degree. I could order my groceries to be delivered to my home, pick them up at the pickup spot in the parking lot, or go into the store. I had choices.
If your company is changing its platforms at work, you have the choice to change in your personal life as well so that everything you do is consistent. Or not.
By looking at the situation and giving yourself choices, you will feel more in control of the situation. While some of the options you give yourself might not be great, at least you have them to feel in control. Choice equals control.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”d1v90″ via=”yes” ]Choice equals control.[/ctt]
- Ask Questions. When the pandemic hit, I watched an unhealthy amount of news so that I could learn what I needed to know. I asked (to the world at large as well as Google) why, when, how and every other question I could think of. By asking questions, we learn. We may not always agree, but we will always learn.
I still tend to research things when they are new to me. The more I know, the more adaptable I can be. I’m not the type to blindly accept things, and I know that asking a lot of questions is a good way for me to be adaptable.
- Ask for Help. I love the different social media groups where people ask for help, or our Group Therapy questions and Wine with Rhonda, where the questions are real, and the answers are plentiful. I love that so many of you are willing to say, “I need help with something.”
We have support systems for a reason, so use them. If you don’t have support systems that are a natural part of your world, there are professionals that you can use. I have used professionals, and they’ve been quite helpful, allowing me to adapt.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”bjOaF” via=”yes” ]We have support systems for a reason, so use them.[/ctt]
- Prioritize Your Health. Self-care is important, and any change will naturally bring discomfort. A simple change such as the time you get up in the morning or what you eat for breakfast will still have an impact. Allowing your body to adjust and prioritizing your physical and mental health will allow you to ground and support yourself.
I’m a tea lover. A good pot of tea soothes me and makes me feel relaxed. The act of making a cup of tea, the act of enjoying it slowly, is good for my soul. I’m also a bath girl. I don’t have a soaking bath as often as I should, but when I’m feeling overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted, or just out of sorts, you can assume that I’ll be having a soaking bath with a pot of tea at some point that day.
- Find the Positive. At the time, finding the positive in change so we can adapt can feel like a stand-up comedy routine. It can be a huge challenge while we are in the middle, but it is an important habit to allow you to have a great AQ.
Remember how Seinfeld used to open up every show with a comedy routine that started with, “Have you ever noticed?” It set up the premise for the sitcom and made us laugh at the funny situations we’ve all experienced.
Turn on your inner Jerry Seinfeld and see if you can find the funny or the positive in any situation – even if you don’t believe it. Forcing yourself to see it from a different perspective allows you to think that perhaps it is a possibility.
It is fun and allows you to see that every situation has a positive slant to it if you try hard enough to look for it.
The positive of the pretend situation above is that you only work three days per week! You’ll have much more time to do other things. Or, the positive is that you only have to drive to the office three days per week and you’ll save money on parking. You won’t always find the positive funny, but you’ll force yourself to see it differently, which will often cause a few giggles.
We all think we are adaptable even when we are not. If you follow these five steps above, you’ll find that you are more adaptable than most people, and your AQ will serve you well in this crazy world we are in.
AQ will serve your excellence both personally and professionally. And excellence is far better than extinction.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”ehCM9″ via=”yes” ]Excellence is far better than extinction[/ctt]