Adaptability is your willingness and ability to behave in ways that are not necessarily characteristic of your style in order to deal effectively with the requirements of a situation or relationship. Adaptable people make the choice to go beyond their own comfort zones so others feel more comfortable. With adaptability, you can treat people the way they want to be treated. You practice adaptability every time you slow down with another person who does not feel as comfortable moving as fast as you do. You also practice adaptability when you take time to listen to a personal story from another person, rather than getting right down to the task at hand. Adaptability is important because people are different and need to be treated differently. You develop open and honest relationships with others by being tactful, reasonable, and understanding.
Think of water flowing down a mountainside — any rock is not an obstacle for someone with Adaptability, it is an opportunity to try a different path and smoothly flow around the stream with ease.
They do not really have to learn to change, they just do. They can deal with just about anything that comes their way, and are very adept at handling the unexpected. The more change the better because change keeps them moving. Obstacles are just something they maneuver around. “No problem, now we can go this way. No worries, we’ll try this, now.”
Adaptable indicates long-term changes; flexible more short-term alterations. One might adapt to the introduction of a new shift pattern, and be flexible enough to work late next Tuesday.
the heart of resilience is your ability to adapt. This refers to making adjustments – physical, emotional and mental – based on new circumstances and information. Adjustments can be in your behavior, perception, beliefs or judgements. The more effective you are in adjusting and changing, the healthier and more resilient you will be.
Adaptability in business environment
Adaptability is one of those traits that often can’t be taught. It must be learned. In today’s ever-changing business world, being adaptable is something many businesses hang their hat on. To stay competitive, and in many cases to survive, businesses must be constantly evaluating and evolving to meet the needs of their customers while maintaining best business practices. The same can be said for employees
Most people experiencing a change at work have three distinct reactions: Go with it, go against it, or do nothing. The latter reactions are the employees who never move up, leave their jobs, or get fired. The employees that are adaptable, have a positive attitude, and go with the changes are the ones who become successful. This isn’t just true at your current position, but in future positions as well. When you move up the ranks and you’re a Director, Vice President or Manager, being able to maneuver the changing workplace will keep you employed and successful. The one sure thing about capitalism is that it will break you or make you. If you can’t evolve with it, you’ll be crushed by it.
One of the biggest lessons they teach in the military was to “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome!” Because nothing lasts forever, and if you want to be someone who rises to the top, you will need to know how to adapt and overcome the inevitable change that will happen in your life and your workplace.
The benefits of being adaptable:
There are many benefits to being adaptable, both in the workplace and in our personal lives. If you’re feeling the desire to become more adaptable or have been told you need to be more flexible, realize that these benefits are well within your reach, but they may take a little practice.
1. You’ll Be More Valuable to Your Employer
The ability of an organization to adapt has been called the new competitive advantage. The same is true for individuals: employers increasingly want workers who can adapt to an ever-changing workplace.
Someone who is adaptable is open to new ideas, and doesn’t need to do things just because “that’s how they’ve always been done.” They’re able to anticipate changes and don’t panic when things don’t go according to plan.
Employers already value this trait, but it’s likely to become even more important in the future; in one survey, 91 percent of HR directors predicted that by 2018, the ability of a candidate to deal with change will be a major recruitment goal. If you want to gain a competitive edge now, while also securing marketable skills for the future, start practicing adaptability now.
2. You’ll Be a Better Leader
People who are adaptable excel as leaders. They earn the respect of their peers, inspire those around them to embrace change, and help grease the cogs in the wheel of even the most unanticipated transitions.
In their journal article, Why Flexible and Adaptive Leadership Is Essential, Gary Yukl, and Rubina Mahsud write, “When a sudden, unusual event threatens to disrupt normal operations or to harm people or property, a rapid but appropriate response is needed to minimize the adverse effects for the organization. How well a leader handles these immediate crises an indicator of flexible and adaptive leadership.”
As a leader, you’re bound to face situations that require you to make quick decisions about whether or not to change course. If you’re not able to pivot quickly, your actions could hurt your employees and your organization as a whole.
3. You’ll Be Happier and More Satisfied With Life
Psychologist Guy Winch believes that being adaptable has many benefits…one of the most important of which is increased happiness: “We constantly meet psychological challenges. Some of us succumb, we feel hopeless, disempowered, give up … and some meet challenges, take the knock and learn something from it. Our ability to have life satisfaction, to be happy [and] to have good relationships really depends on our ability to adapt.”
Being adaptable means not feeling hopeless and helpless in the face of change. If you can tell yourself that you have the skills and ability to change yourself, even if you can’t change the situation, you have figured out the key to being happy regardless of your circumstances.
4. You’ll Be Better Able to Handle Career Transitions
Imagine you suddenly lose your job due to a decline in your industry or some other reason. What’s your first move? Do you give up, resigning yourself to months of fruitless job hunting? Or do you take stock of your current skill set, and think about how you can reposition yourself or find work in another industry?
Being adaptable can mean less time looking for work, and less stress as you tackle your new job search tasks. You will stop putting off your need to do what it takes to get a job (e.g. getting your resume out there, or getting your resume updated or written in the first place). You’re also more likely to try new jobs or roles, increasing the scope (and likelihood of your success) of your search.
5. You’ll Bounce Back More Quickly from Adversity
Bad things happen to all of us. But if you’re adaptable, you take adversity in stride, never letting it destroy you. You adjust your thoughts and expectations to suit your new reality, rather than dwelling on “what could have been.”
Being adaptable means being resilient. And being resilient will get you far in life. Dean Becker, president and CEO of Adaptiv Learning Systems, a company that creates programs to teach resiliency, believes adaptability is a trait that is a key determinant of success.
He writes, “More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.”
There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher.” Being adaptable means you change yourself to accommodate your circumstances. This means less time trying to change your circumstances, which may or may not work, and more time adjusting your own attitude and expectations.
How to Demonstrate Adaptability on the Job?
Adaptability is a critical quality that employers seek in early 21st-century employees. With rapid changes in technology, diversity and society, companies need employees who are open to new ideas, flexible enough to work through challenging issues, and generally able to cope when things don’t go as planned. Demonstrating adaptability through actions can gain you favor with co-workers and supervisors.
Adaptable people are able to bend when their first suggestion or preferred solution does not go over well. Being adaptable involves preparing backup, alternative options for discussion. Within a work team, presenting multiple ideas and showing acceptance when your primary choice is rejected helps you come across as a team player. In making a sales pitch to a client, conveying alternative product solutions when the first recommendation is rejected can help you get more sales and achieve better results.
People who aren’t adaptable tend to get stressed and uncomfortable when faced with new, unexpected and urgent projects. To show that you’re a team player and adaptable, be willing to take on tasks or projects when urgency is key and the work is important to the organization. While you don’t want colleagues to take advantage of your willingness, agreeing to these surprises from others gives you a better chance of finding them agreeable when you need immediate help.
Accept New RolesRolesl
In highly evolving, fast-paced industries, company restructures are fairly common, with acquisitions and mergers happening on a regular basis. To show a commitment to your organization, be cooperative and helpful when transitioning into a new or expanded role. This is difficult for many, since change is a common source of stress. However, demonstrating your loyalty and flexibility often helps you get ahead on the promotional ladder. Plus, taking on new roles and responsibilities expands your portfolio of experiences and skills.
Show Calm and Confidence
Your initial reaction to a dilemma or a sudden troubling event provides an immediate perception of your adaptability. To prove adaptability, you want to main poised, calm and ready to make a quick decision when faced with an unexpected challenge. The ability to adapt in this way is especially important for organizational leaders who set the tone for their employees. Adaptable leaders who show a balance of calm and quick flexibility usually pass on those traits to others.
Adaptability in children
Adaptability, a trait that makes every child unique, refers to how easily or quickly your children adjust to changes in their environment after their initial response has occurred. Some children are very flexible and are able to progress smoothly and quickly after they encounter a change in schedule or routine. They are also able to accept new items or ideas easily and without much fuss. Other children, however, have a more stressful time transitioning.
This temperament trait is closely tied to the trait of approach/withdrawal, which refers to children’s initial response or reaction to new things, ideas, places and people. Most children who are slow-to-adapt are also more likely to withdraw when first confronted with new ideas and those who are quick to adapt initially tend to be more receptive.
Things Parents Can Do
Understand that adaptability is a part of your children’s in-born temperament.
Be aware of how your children react to transitions and changes and use this information to help engage their cooperation.
Help to monitor when changes or transitions become too overwhelming for your children and help them to find ways to calm down and adjust.
Give fore-warnings and information to assist with making transitions occur more smoothly, so that he knows what will happen next and what behavior is expected. These children need to learn to become more flexible so that they can adjust better to changes; small changes a little at a time can ease them into being more comfortable with new routines.
Explain the sequence of events for outings or trips so your child knows what to expect.
Give your child time to get used to a new situation ; don’t expect immediate compliance.
Use the idea of watching the clock or having a timer that determines when activities have to be changed.
For example, if you are planning a trip to the store, you can verbally warn the child you will be leaving in 15 minutes, and/or you can set a timer and let them know that when it goes off, it will be time to leave.
Bring a snack, a favorite toy with you on outings to help your child feel more comfortable when you have to quickly change tasks.
Encourage children to join activities without putting any pressure on.
For quick-to-adapt children, teach them to think and use cautionbefore jumping in or going along with new ideas or changes. They need to learn to think independently and to assert themselves if they don’t want to do something.
Teach children the words to use to express how they are feeling more accurately and appropriately.
Learn to work together. Understand how your own temperament, including your own adaptability, fits or does not fit with your children’s temperament and create strategies to help each other.
Identify and value your children’s unique temperament and help them to understand the value of their uniqueness.
Send messages to your children that help them to feel good about who they are, messages such as:
“Change is difficult for you.”
“You like to know what to expect before you have to do it.”
“You can learn to be flexible.”
“You enjoy activities.”
“You can stop and think before you act.”
Adaptability in Animals
Chameleons are capable of changing color. These color changes assist the reptile to camouflage itself in the presence of potential predators. Chameleons tend to move very slowly. They remain perfectly still and blend into the surrounding vegetation, making it hard for predators to spot them. Color changes also help the chameleon regulate its body temperature, as darker body colors absorb heat and lighter colors reflect, and thus repel, heat. These reptiles are reliant on the ambient or environmental temperature for warmth. Chameleons communicate with each other through subtle color changes. So the chameleon changes its color as a form of adaptation.
Some animals remain and stay active in the winter. They must adapt to the changing weather. Many make changes in their behavior or bodies. To keep warm, animals may grow new, thicker fur in the fall. On weasels and snowshoe rabbits, the new fur is white to help them hide in the snow.
Food is hard to find in the winter. Some animals, like squirrels, mice and beavers, gather extra food in the fall and store it to eat later. Some, like rabbits and deer, spend winter looking for moss, twigs, bark and leaves to eat. Other animals eat different kinds of food as the seasons change. The red fox eats fruit and insects in the spring, summer and fall. In the winter, it can not find these things, so instead it eats small rodents.
Animals may find winter shelter in holes in trees or logs, under rocks or leaves, or underground. Some mice even build tunnels through the snow. To try to stay warm, animals like squirrels and mice may huddle close together.
Certain spiders and insects may stay active if they live in frost-free areas and can find food to eat. There are a few insects, like the winter stone fly, crane fly, and snow fleas, that are normally active in winter. Also, some fish stay active in cold water during the winter.
Some animals hibernate for part or all of the winter. This is a special, very deep sleep. The animal’s body temperature drops, and its heartbeat and breathing slow down. It uses very little energy.
In the fall, these animals get ready for winter by eating extra food and storing it as body fat. They use this fat for energy while hibernating. Some also store food like nuts or acorns to eat later in the winter. Bears, skunks, chipmunks, and some bats hibernate
Kodak Story and their failure in adaptability
Eastman Kodak Co. is often cited as an iconic example of a company that failed to grasp the significance of a technological transition that threatened its business. After decades of being an undisputed world leader in film photography, Kodak built the first digital camera back in 1975. But then, the story goes, the company couldn’t see the fundamental shift (in its particular case, from analog to digital technology) that was happening right under its nose. They failed to adapt to a high paced market in digital photography, they couldn’t keep up with the new emerging companies
When new technologies change the world, some companies are caught off-guard. Others see change coming and are able to adapt in time. And then there are companies like Kodak — which saw the future and simply couldn’t figure out what to do. Kodak’s bankruptcy filing on January 19 2012 culminates the company’s 30-year slide from innovation giant to aging behemoth crippled by its own legacy
The Dinosaurs didn’t survive what a cockroach did
The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, or the K-T event, is the name given to the die-off of the dinosaurs and other species that took place some 65.5 million years ago. For many years, paleontologists believed this event was caused by climate and geological changes that interrupted the dinosaurs’ food supply. However, in the 1980s, father-and-son scientists Luis (1911-88) and Walter Alvarez (1940-) discovered in the geological record a distinct layer of iridium–an element found in abundance only in space–that corresponds to the precise time the dinosaurs died.
Enter Luis Alvarez, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, inventor and pioneer in the field of radiation and nuclear research. He and his son, noted geologist Walter Alvarez, were conducting research in Italy when they discovered a centimeter-thick layer of iridium-enriched clay at the K-T boundary. Iridium is rare on earth, but more common in space. The Alvarezes published their findings in 1981, postulating that the thin layer of iridium was deposited following the impact of a large meteor, comet or asteroid with the earth. Furthermore, this bolide impact (the meteor, comet or asteroid colliding with the earth’s surface) could have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. At the time, the Alvarez theory was so far removed from prevailing hypotheses that it was ridiculed. Slowly, though, other scientists began finding iridium evidence at various places around the globe that corroborated the Alvarez theory. There was, however, no smoking gun in the form of an impact site
The extinction wiped out the dinosaurs because they don’t have any adaptability while most mammals, turtles, crocodiles, salamanders, and frogs survived. Birds escaped. So did snails, bivalves, sea stars (starfish), and sea urchins. Even hardy plants able to weather climate extremes fared okay.
Positive changes can be as difficult to accept as negative ones.
Things change constantly. Loved ones die; jobs end, as do relationships. People get promoted, couples bond in marriage, and babies are born. Guess what? The positive changes can be as hard to adapt to as the negative ones. Here are some tips on adjusting to change, both good and bad, to help make life easier.
When a good change appears, accept it with grace. You may not believe you deserve it, or you just may not be ready for it, but the only way to move forward and get the most out of it is to embrace the positivity, however it shows up.
When a negative change is looming, start looking for alternatives before it actually happens, if you can. For example, if you know your company is in trouble and you are hearing things that are making you insecure, don’t wait to get laid off, but start looking for another job. Even if your current position isn’t changed, you will have gained valuable experience and maybe a better gig.
Change is constant, so we usually don’t notice the little or the expected changes; it’s when you are caught off-guard that you can get discomfort. The trick is to know that it is just one of the millions of changes that are going to happen in your life and, good or not so good, do what you can to just roll with it.
Emotional changes can be the hardest to adjust to. For example, when your heart gets broken, acceptance is not always an easy option. You may not have the strength or understanding to be objective. In cases like this, you need to process your feelings, and this can take some time. If you want it to go faster, see a therapist
Why 1 in 3 People Adapt to Change More Successfully?
When bad things happen some people are inspired, while others are imprisoned.? Why is it that, when faced with change, some people find inspiration and others only find imprisonment?
Fortunately for us, a clever psychologist named Salvatore Maddi and a curious executive named Carl Horn had the foresight to ask this question in the mid-1970s. The result is one of the most fascinating natural experiments ever conducted on human adaptability.
It began in 1974 when Maddi made a startling discovery—not from one of his own studies, but from an article in Family Circle magazine.
The Adaptive Third
The majority of people—whether they kept their jobs or lost their jobs—were brought to their knees by the change. There were divorces, strokes, cancers, suicides, kidney failures, heart attacks, alcoholism, drug addictions, and compulsive gambling. Ma Bell offices became disaster areas littered with the wreckage of its workforce.
But a third of the people in both groups didn’t just survive—they thrived. They didn’t have heart attacks or marital troubles or fall prey to addiction. Those who stayed on at Illinois Bell became high-ranking leaders in the changed organization. Those who were laid off became shooting stars at their new companies.
Most surprising was how ordinary the people in the adaptive third were. On paper, they looked just like everyone else. They were not more adaptive because they experienced fewer stressful experiences. They weren’t more adaptive because they had better bosses. They weren’t more adaptive because they had happier home lives. They weren’t more educated. They weren’t smarter. They didn’t have fancier titles or easier jobs. They didn’t have privileged childhoods, and they weren’t born with special genetic gifts.
What separated the adaptive third from everyone else is surprisingly simple: While everyone else tried to bounce back, the adaptive third took a step forward. They exhibited what Maddi calls “existential courage.”
When the fog of change descends on us, human brains are wired to ask the question: What does this mean? Our minds launch a full-scale search for answers to resolve our confusion. But we don’t all look in the same place.
Roxane Cohen Silver at the University of California-Irvine discovered that two out of threegrieving widows, bereaved parents, and victims of terrorism, child abuse, and natural disasters, will instinctively look for meaning in the past. They try to find some explanation for their suffering. For decades, psychologists assumed that this was a universal reaction in the wake of traumatic change, and that therefore, the path to healing required finding an explanation.
But they were wrong.
In study after study over the past three decades, Silver has found that a remarkably consistent one out of three trauma victims will not search for a reason to explain why they are experiencing misfortune. And it is this one third who turn out to be the most well-adjusted—weeks, months, and years later.
When most of the employees at Illinois Bell looked around and saw nothing but thick fog in every direction, they did what most of us instinctively do when we get lost. They retraced their steps. They obsessively searched for a reason why this tragedy was happening to them. In Maddi and Deborah Khoshaba’s training guide, Resilience at Work, they explain how the struggling Illinois Bell employees were consumed with how things were in the “good ‘ol days of more precise company objectives and plans.” When the researchers asked the employees about their plans for the future, they replied with anxious mumbles and shifty stares. When they finally sputtered out a reply, their image of the future looked eerily similar to the past. They wanted to “bounce back” to a place that no longer existed.
The people in the adaptive third were different. They also asked themselves what the change meant. But rather than trying to make sense of what they had done to deserve this experience, they tried to make sense of what they could do now that it had occurred.
That might be the single greatest lesson of adaptation. Instead of asking why bad things happen to good people, adaptive people turn that timeless riddle on its head and ask what can good people do when bad things happen?
Evolution vs adaptation
The word “evolution” was in use long before Darwin. Even though he did not use it in his book, he is associated with the word when we talk about biology. The reason may be that he indirectly defined it in the last paragraph of his book, that ends with “evolved”: “It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” “Adaptation” has been used as a contrast to evolution to denote the changes of organisms that scientists before Darwin, such as Lamarck, described. But these are changes exclusively within a species. They used the observations of such changing as a proof of species constancy, e.g. that dogs can change into highly different races, but still the species is the same. But from around 1940 there was created some confusion of this terminology. Persons behind “the modern synthesis” used “evolution” to denote changes of allele frequencies in a population. These processes do not involve any novelty, i.e. no speciation and no creation of features. They are therefore adaptations, and no evolution. Some of these persons may have allowed mutations, but then just as a way to fill up the reservoir of alleles. Richard Dawkins, who is basing his writing on adaptation, said in the Homage to Darwin debate with Lynn Margulis that for eukaryotes the ideal mutation rate is zero. The confusing terminology is therefore still in use, and due to the popularity of his books, this may give rise to misconceptions that should be avoided.
As for the origin of life. One must wonder how accurately all the stars are aligned, how the complicated structure of the universe is, One should take an in-depth look inside our human body itself and see how every organ is functioning for its optimal utilization, this was definitely not a fluke, there is a super intelligent creator, and for whom asking who created the creator, you will fall into a paradox because once you asked this question, another arises, who created the creator who created us, this question would not end till infinity, As for Natural Selection theory by Darwin, we have different kind of species whom didn’t adapted to be stronger, as survival for the fittest is cited hundreds of years ago, we have species evolved or let us use the word adapted to be more beautiful although it does not has the same function as its predecessor, take an example of a butterfly and moth, why it has adapted into a more beautiful species, take another example of a horse and mule. Between the both of them, the mule is the strongest, however the horse is regarded more beautiful. All of these points shows flaws in Darwin’s theory.
if we don’t learn to adapt and adjust to people and things, we will crack and break under the pressures of life. Adapting and adjusting requires trusting God, humility, and commitment to making yourself happy despite your situation and circumstance.
Adapting and adjusting is a choice. We choose to adapt and adjust and live peacefully or we can choose to not adapt and adjust and be miserable. However we must not compromise on the expense of our ethics for the sake of adaptability, as they say, ” in case of style flow with the current, in matter of principle, stand like a rock”
Some of the changes which take place in life are not always invited, but we must learn to embrace the change because not embracing the change will not make them go away. Change comes to challenge us and more importantly, to grow us up. Are you willing to accept the change? Are you willing topt, adjust and welcome a substantial change?