Adaptable People Personality and Character Traits

Posted by John Anumba

What are the characteristics of an adaptable personality? What are the traits and behaviors you see in people with an adaptable personality?

The adaptability of an organism is to alter itself or its responses to the changed circumstances or environment. This blog on ‘Adaptability and Learning’ is a part of workplace readiness that focuses on handling change and acting according to circumstances. 

As humans are built with adaptable personality, we adjust ourselves to the environment around us. 

Though it is a human trait, not everyone develops an adaptable personality to their environment very easily. 

We must have adapted to the school and college environment by changing our behavior, getting used to the general challenges, probably developing strategies. 

But the workplace requires different sets of adaptability traits. Adaptability here mostly means handling change. 

Not being affected by the sudden change in plans or projects, accepting it instead of being averse to change is what is required by adaptability at workplace.

According to a famous scientist, Charles Darwin, human survival is not by being most intelligent or strongest but by having an adaptable personality towards every situation. 

Though we have an adaptable personality approach, we must stay committed to our goals because having an adaptable personality doesn’t mean changing ourselves completely

by forgetting our core ethics and values. 

Also, in the Indian context, a lot of people ‘adjust’ in life thinking they are adapting

when in real life they are either avoiding conflict or accommodating to make sure there is no issue with anyone.

Adaptable personality, is about fully understanding the pros and cons and then making a decision to follow it with full conviction.

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Adaptable personality is all about the following

Understand the need for change
Convey willingness to adapt to a changing situation
Project a positive image towards change

First, let us see why we fail to display traits of adaptable personality

  • Habit: ‘We have always done it this way’
  • Rigid Structure
  • Insufficient experimentation
  • No compelling reason: ‘Why should I do it?’
  • Don’t know HOW to do it
  • Fear: ‘What if something goes wrong?

What are the ways by which we can develop an adaptable personality

  • Developing coping mechanisms and survival tactics
  • Developing traits of flexibility
  • Changing our behavior according to the situations

Why is an adaptable personality important for employers?

Changes in technology and diversity in work make employers look for employees who are open to new ideas, methods of work, who can adapt to work pressure and plan alternate solutions when things don’t go as planned.

Traits of an adaptable personality 

  • Fits in work culture easily
  • Open to new ideas and change
  • Looks for creative solutions
  • Can move out of comfort zone
  • Productive even under work pressure and stress
  • Balances life (professional and personal)
  • Experiments and learns new things.

How to become an adaptable personality?

  • Accept change
  • Try to understand ‘why change’
  • Focus on benefits
  • Control your emotions
  • Be positive
  • Understand the personal reason for resistance
  • Stop defending the old way as the right way
  • Embrace the idea of learning and doing something new
  • Think Creatively
  • Ask for help!

Accepting change is the first and most crucial step. You must be ready for surprises and be willing to learn new things. New job roles or projects will bring new fears and challenges to work on and you must be ready to give your best. Believe that “Change is the only constant” and say more ‘yes’ than ‘no’ to change. Another vital cog in the process of adaptability is to work on solutions. Be open to various perspectives and keep renewing and upgrading your knowledge constantly. Also, work closely as a team to brainstorm alternate plans.

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Adaptable personality at work

Here are some points on which you will have to adapt quickly in an organization –

Work Style
Attitude of Leaders

Showing your colleagues that you are ready for the job role and challenges

Show alertness in behavior
Be upfront and excited
Be strong in your body language
Try not to shows on your face!

Telling your colleagues that you are ready for the job role and challenges 

Use positive phrases.. Yes. Of course. Sure
Support the change-maker.. I agree with you
Tell them you are with them
Offer extras.. Please tell me if there is anything extra you want me to do
Point to a positive end… We will be able to do this
Remember, constant learning is the key to handle constant change. What are the ways of constant learning?

Here goes-

Reading magazines on current affairs
Free ebooks download
TED talks
YouTube self-help/technical/educational videos
Reading the newspaper
Audio books
Researching ways to continue specialization in a certain field
Find courses- online or otherwise and join them
Interact more with people who are knowledgeable, and hear their ideas and concepts
Distance learning courses

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