The Most Valued Soft Skill in Human Resources: Adaptability


What is the Most Valued Soft Skill in Human Resources?

We live in an increasingly digitalized and constantly evolving business and social environment. The ability to adapt and be flexible has become a fundamental skill necessary for survival in the business world.

Imagine the following situation:

It’s 9 a.m. on a busy Monday.

You have an important meeting scheduled to present your department’s budget to the executive committee.

You and your team have been working on this for weeks and everything is ready when new directives arrive from your headquarters that will affect both the structure of your department and your new responsibilities.

Does this sound familiar?

Whether you work in the office or lead a remote team, you have likely experienced similar situations to some extent.

You go from feeling in control of your work to feeling uncertain.

The fact is, no matter how much you plan, something unexpected will always arise.

You have probably been told to stay calm and clear-headed in the face of the unexpected. This is important for thinking about the next step. But what comes next?

Adaptability is the New IQ

Let’s go back to the previous scenario. Now things have changed.

You can continue with most of your plan, but significant modifications need to be made.

This is where adaptability and subsequent change management with your team come into play. Adaptability in the workplace is a key competency and requires being flexible and adjusting to changing work conditions, whether that change happens quickly, as in the previous case, or slowly, such as with the introduction of new processes or technology.

The way you respond to constantly changing circumstances is crucial. Talent and Human Resources departments are clear that continuous transformation and systematic change management are essential for growth and human talent management.

It is predicted that the Adaptability Quotient (AQ) will soon be the primary indicator of success, surpassing the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ), meaning the time to develop this skill is now.

The new leaders, both formal and informal, are people with highly developed Adaptability Quotients. However, this skill is not exclusive to leadership; having flexible and open-minded people in teams makes implementing changes easier and more agile.

Enhancing and developing this fundamental soft skill, adaptability, requires an open-minded attitude towards changes in the organization and/or job position, regardless of the level of responsibility, to internalize new procedures or tasks that promote continuous growth.

How to Develop Adaptability at Work

For some people, it is part of their DNA, while others may wonder, “How can I develop adaptability?”

Here are some ways to start developing this skill:

1. Get Comfortable in Uncomfortable Situations

Change is inevitable.

No matter how experienced you are, how established your role or your company is, the only way to stay on top and move forward is to innovate.

Successful people and companies know this, which is why new processes and technologies are continuously introduced.

The sooner you accept that you cannot always rely on the same assumptions and strategies, the easier it will be.

2. Stay Alert

Be aware of what is happening in your company or organization. It is hard to be adaptable when you limit yourself. Get involved in what your company or organization does, ask questions, and then ask yourself what you can do in your role to move in that direction.

3. Learn Continuously

Stay active in seeking new skills and knowledge. Besides updating skills for your job, read and develop abilities outside your role or sector.

These will be invaluable in an ever-changing environment.

Read as much as you can, whenever you can, and seek advice from those around you who do the same and more.

4. Boost Your Creativity

You have many transferable skills and knowledge that you can incorporate into your work. Look for new ways of doing things.

The more you learn and the more people teach you, the more you will realize there are many different ways to reach your goals.

Being adaptable means being flexible in both your approach and execution.

5. Embrace Failure

The only way to improve is to act. Propose new ideas, don’t stick to the known or expected; go a step further.

You are now responsible for those ideas and for executing them. Some will not work, but others will.

In any case, you will have gained valuable knowledge, and as you continue to try, fail, and succeed, you will feel a bit more comfortable in your discomfort.

If you want more information on how to implement a development plan in your organization and about our platform, contact us for a free demo.


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