Are you flexible? I bet you will tell me that you are! This might be true but in more ways than not we are prone to be stuck to the old and familiar ways of doing things. To be flexible is to be capable of being bent, usually without breaking, easily bent. In human terms it is to be susceptible to adoption or change, to be flexible to schedules etc.
One of the most important things we can do in a world of change is to become more adaptable. As I see it, this world is moving so fast that if we become too rigid, we lose the edge and are left behind in this technological age. Just think of it, aren’t you a bit disgusted and perturbed by the way large businesses and corporations seem to do things! I am sure you are, or maybe I am the only one that is noticing what is happening.
Take a look at what is happening in the world of high-tech. isn’t it strange that every six months they present a new or updated gadget and get us all excited about the new features; calling it the new iPhone or new iPad. It will break your heart to be told that the iPhone or iPad that you bought recently less than six weeks ago when they came out are now considered old. This is the new low in our world of change but it is one that we must live with. There will be no turning back; we will just have to be adaptive to these changes.
I remember when I was very young; changes were something that I did not like very much. The reason for this was because you never have enough time to settle down. The moment that you make new friends it was at that moment that you would soon have to move on. This can be very disruptive and challenging. Was I resistant to change; I didn’t think so! It was a situation for which I had no control.
Let’s look at one of the most important but neglected issues we face. In the work place, workers can become stressed because they might not be adoptable to changes. The need for control in our working life is strong and this control can easily become disrupted during change. However the more adaptable workers are, the more advantage over the competition. One way to deal with this disruption is to help employees to become more proactive; give them a voice in decision-making. This will help them with a sense of ownership there-by nullifying the stress of feeling that they are not really a part of the organization and it doesn’t matter what happen because there is nothing in it for them. People want a sense of belonging. When there is a feeling of responsibility this brings with it ownership and adaptability.
Some folks are able to embrace change while others are affected by it. This to me is because of our personal adaptability level. Change as we know is disruptive and if we are not ready for it we can be drown in the turbulence. However changes when it is adopted brings possibilities and reward that is satisfying.
Why is it hard to become flexible or adoptive to change? Could it be that disruption often reminds us of situations in the past! These have tested our self-confidence and sense of control especially where we have struggled to cope. Therefore set goal for specific things that we can do to get ready to appear and feel competent in these situations. As I have alluded to earlier, I have been face with being moved around and as a result it is sometimes hard to be adoptive to change. I am now more adoptable but it was something I had to learn in the process.
Recently I came across a quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, or the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.” This is not only true of human but it is true of the animal kingdom. Where do they go when it is winter or changes in the environment that we think they cannot cope with. Most often these animals hibernate or rest in the comfort of the unknown until they resurface with new vigor. Even the plant life does accept changes in their season. Many businesses have succumbed and went under because they did not want change; they did not adapt to the new movement in technology and was left to struggle and die. Why shouldn’t we be more adaptable?
I would like to be honest and say, we are all very adaptable to change; at least small changes. So what are the differences we are faced? We all buy and sell things and we make change to things and situation that we do not like. However it’s the big things in life that often scares us. Coping with the changes life throws at us, going to a new school or university, changing jobs etc. Even if we seek some of these changes, we will admit that they don’t always go the way we plan and for this reason it is sometimes hard to become adaptable to change!