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Adaptability - Flexibility that Flows

adaptability energize Jun 30, 2020

If there is a talent that can eat the disruption of a global pandemic for breakfast it is Adaptability

Adaptability is an Energize talent that thrives on change and variety. Flexibility and pivoting are second nature to those with this talent. The opportunity to adjust to something new, fresh, or different is life-giving when this talent is in your upper tier. While most people can be hesitant or even resistant to changes in their schedule, routines, circumstances, or relationships those with Adaptability get engaged and even excited about these disruptions to life. Whether adapting to working from home or connecting the kids to online school, the demand to adjust, transition, and re-adjust is more an opportunity than a problem for Adaptability. 

While riding with the tides of change and going with the flow of the unexpected are earmarks of Adaptability, it has a variety of other expressions. For some it looks like a juggling act of multi-tasking, keeping multiple plates spinning at the same time. For others it is the drive for variety of activity that keeps them pivoting to something different and plugging and playing where they are needed. When emergencies occur and quick action is needed, Adaptability can step up and provide the first response with little stress or drama.  

The challenge for those with Adaptability comes when enduring focus or commitment is called for. Many with this talent have a fluid concept of time and commitment. Without certain other talents in their Top 5 (i.e. Responsibility or Discipline) they can view time and schedules more in a circular than a linear timeline. The popular suffix “-ish” added to a time appointment (I’ll be there around 7ish) was probably started by a self-aware Adaptability. Commitments to others, though not always rock solid, can be firm..ish. But that can change if something better or more urgent comes up to adapt to in any given moment.  Thus it is critical to communicate expectations when working or even playing with your Adaptability friends.

One team leader I have worked with sees his Adaptability play out in multi-layered projects like cleaning the garage. The task may start with a goal of creating space by taking out all bikes, furniture, and sports gear, then pivots to re-organizing boxes that were stacked around an old desk, then clearing more space to put in new shelves before being distracted by getting all the donations taken to a drop-off, returning in time to alphabetize his tools into a new chest that doesn’t quite get finished because he found that lost pipe wrench and is off to fix that broken sprinkler box that has been leaking and… well you get the point. And though his wife sees a 3-ring circus of unfinished projects he knows its just a matter of time before he circles back and starts the next lap. Because that is what Adaptability does so well -- thriving and adjusting amidst chaos- including worldwide crisis.

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