ADAPTABILITY SKILLS: AN IMPORTANT SKILL FOR ALL GOOD LEADERS
By Akintomide Timileyin, Member, Kingdom Leads Africa
In recent times, the importance and contribution of skill in our society at large cannot be overemphasized, in as much there's existence of human.
There's this saying "Skills don't die but human does". Skills has been an important part of our living and has placed some people at the top position where they never dreamt to be.
Some certain keywords will be addressed from the main topic, which I would like us to be observant in the process: skills, adaptability, adaptability skills, leader
What is a SKILL ?
Skill is the ability to use ones knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance.
Skills open doors to opportunities. They break every economic boundary and empowers societies to maximize their potential. Nothing else is that powerful.
Skills can be categorized into two major aspect, which includes:
Hard skills:- They refers to job related knowledge and abilities that employees need to perform their job duties effectively.
Soft skills:- These are the personal qualities that help employees really thrive in the workplace.
Adaptability:- This is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions and situations.
This means when one is open and willing to learn new things and take on new challenges. Additionally, developing your adaptability can also mean developing other soft skills like communication and interpersonal skills.
Who is a Leader? I believe the word leader/leadership isn't a new said word, but for emphasis sake, I will do justice to that.
There have been countless people through history that led people but we're inhumane and destructive. Does that still make them leaders? In my opinion I see a leader as someone who does more than just lead people.
They have to be driven by the right motivation and make a positive impact on the people around them.
A leader is a person who can see how things can be improved and who rallies people to move towards that better vision. As a leader you need to posses some certain skills to make you unique and dynamic in the way you treat your surbodinates and people around you.
I will be focusing my attention more on one of the soft skills; which is Adaptability skills. It is one of the examples of soft skills, do not forget soft skills are inbuilt skills, more of Talent or you can say to be blessed or gifted by the almighty.
There are various examples of soft skills, but I will just dish out few out of them. We have : Communication, Leadership, Adaptability, Creativity, Problem Solving, Emotional Intelligence, Writing, Decision Making, Teamwork, Management, among others...
Our attention will be based on the adaptability skills in which has been explained earlier above.
As a leader it is important for you to posses the adaptability skills, because it prepares you for uncertain situations that might arises at the long run and it prepares you to face new challenges and ready to learn new things that will better your cohort.
An adaptive leader is always able to change their behavior in response to changes in a situation. They are flexible, showing resilience when things don't go as planned and bouncing back from failure, seeing it as an opportunity to learn.
The most important factor in survival is neither intelligence nor strength but adaptability — Charles Darwin.
Adaptability differs from flexibility because it demands new circumstances. Working later or accommodating team members suggests flexibility and openess to adjust.
But adapting means that you're facing a new scenario or situation, no matter how prepared you are.
Types of adaptability skills
There are six(6) types of adaptability skills which you must posses as a leader of any association you find yourself.
Being resourceful means being innovative and creative while working toward your goals. Your goals might be straightforward, but the journey isn't. To be resourceful, you must have solid problem-solving skills. When issues come your way, you need to know how to solve them. And you need to be able to take the initiative to get started or know when to ask for help.
(ii) Ability to learn
How do you manage to learn new things? You may find yourself learning independently or through collaboration. Critical thinking is often required. Time, too. Learning is continuous. Frequently welcoming feedback as you receive it improves your learning opportunities.
(iii) Communication skills
Don’t underestimate the importance of communication skills. It's also important to be a good, active listener when others communicate with you. Your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are also tested when talking with others.
(iv) Organizational skills
Being organized shows us where our resources are — from our contact lists to our availability. Organization will show you what's necessary to achieve your goals or finish your work. In today’s world, you’ll need to keep both your physical and digital space organized
When you work as a team, personality types and opinions can clash. But that shouldn't matter if everyone on the team sees the value in having a diverse group of people and perspectives at work. Conflict may occur, but working as a team means you can resolve conflict with your problem-solving skills and still produce great work. And an adaptable leader can inspire a team to thrive under pressure with their calmness and sureness.
Being curious leads you to be open-minded about new opportunities and indicates a growth mindset. Finding a new way to complete a task? Sounds great to you, since you approach things with a positive attitude and take on new projects with excitement.
You're also probably willing to take risks if it means you can experiment and explore your curiosity. Continuing to learn new skills isn't always easy. BetterUp can help you identify your strengths and chart a plan that makes sense for you as you continue to learn new skills every day.
Traits of Adaptable Leaders
There are 3 traits of adaptable leaders, which are as follows;
(i) Adaptable leaders have flexible ways of thinking:- For leaders, adaptability is about having ready access to different way of thinking, enabling leaders to shift and experiment as things change. You as a leader should be able to think ahead of your team.
(ii) Adaptable leaders plan ahead:- Adaptable leaders understand that while an end goal and a vision are necessary, the path that takes them needs to be flexible. As a leader , you must have multiple plans for reaching said goals. Rather than getting stuck on one solution to solve a problem, always have plan B even if necessary plan C,D,E.
(iii) Adaptable leaders are curious:- There's this idiomatic expression that says "curiosity kills the cat". Well that's for the cat, not human(laugh). You trying to get access to vital information about things you don't know should be a thing to kill, but be limited to ways you seeks and gather information, because most information are false and fake.
Curiosity helps to open the mind, enable growth, encourage new ideas, and is a fundamental principle of adaptive leadership.
As a leader you can develop your curiosity skills by doing the following:
Ask questions, listen and observe
Finally, an adaptable mindset does not come naturally to everyone. However, with practice and focus, adaptable leader traits such as those listed above can be developed to help foster navigation through the course of changing landscape.