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Adaptability is a must-have trait. Here’s how to spot it — and increase it

Look for signs of exploration

When someone has found a solution, they may never look further for other solutions. But by not looking for additional solutions, they may be missing out on something better.

It is better to find ways to break habits you have, for instance, watching a movie in a different language, or walking an alternate route. It may seem minor, but will allow for crucial vantage point shifts and help you practice to unlearn.

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Adaptability is a must-have trait. Here’s how to spot it — and increase it

Adaptability is a must-have trait. Here’s how to spot it — and increase it

https://ideas.ted.com/these-days-adaptability-is-a-must-have-trait-heres-how-to-spot-it-and-increase-it/

ideas.ted.com

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Key Ideas

Adaptability in a changing world

In our rapidly changing world, adaptability is a must-have characteristic.

Organizations want team members who can take on new responsibilities and gain new skills as needed. You should not only be able to spot this quality so you can hire the right people, but also build it so that you stay employable.

How to assess adaptability

  • When interviewing people, ask "what if" questions. It will force a person to picture multiple possible versions and make decisions accordingly. It will give a sense of the candidate's adaptability based on how many scenarios they're able to come up with.
  • "Tell me about the time you were wrong," followed by "What is the most convincing argument of those who disagreed with you?" will tell you if people are willing to change their minds and consequently be more adaptable.

Unlearning instead of learning

Unlearning is an important sign of adaptability and very useful for people who are looking for a new job.

Unlearning is challenging what you think you know and overriding the information with new data.ddsadasdasd

Finding a new job

An unlearning mindset is beneficial when you are looking for a new job in a different field.

  • Instead of looking at the overall title or position, look at the individual components and pieces of your job.
  • See where your skills might be applied in a different environment.
  • Ask yourself in which industry is this one skill underused? Then you can move forward by bringing your individual pieces of expertise with you.

Look for signs of exploration

When someone has found a solution, they may never look further for other solutions. But by not looking for additional solutions, they may be missing out on something better.

It is better to find ways to break habits you have, for instance, watching a movie in a different language, or walking an alternate route. It may seem minor, but will allow for crucial vantage point shifts and help you practice to unlearn.

A person's adaptability isn't fixed

Adaptability can be improved. You actively have to seek it out and exercise it.

  • Play with opportunities. Make yourself knowledgeable in other areas to bridge existing gaps at your organization.
  • Occasionally, adopt the role of devils advocate to allow you, your boss and your colleagues to see things from the other side.
  • Keep a failure resume or log. Write down the times you were wrong, changed your mind, or made mistakes. See them as steps you've taken on your professional journey and learn from them.

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How we're sitting
How we're sitting

The childhood advice of sitting up straight, shoulders back, is incorrect.

Sitting this way takes effort. We end up arching our backs by tensing up our muscles. When we tighten them, we...

The tendency to slump

If you tend to slump, you need to learn to lengthen your back. Use the time that you're sitting to stretch yourself against the backrest.

  • Sit with your bottom well back in your chair while moving your upper body away from the backrest.
  • Place your fists on the front lower border of your rib cage, then gently push back on your rib cage so as to elongate your lower back.
  • Then, grab some place of your chair and make yourself taller by gently pushing the top of you away from the bottom.
  • In that position, put your back against the chair's backrest. Ideally, the chair would have some grippy thing mid-back to hold you.
A healthier back

For a healthier back, develop the "inner corset" core strength: the group of core muscles that support your spine. Crunches are not the best exercises for this purpose as they also crunch your discs and nerves.

You should engage particular muscles deep in the abdomen and back; then your muscles can take care of your back.

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Alvin Toffler
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn ..."
Alvin Toffler
Living in the 21st century
Living in our time requires different skills, one of the most important of which is unlearning activities, skills and formerly productive (or wise) activities such that new learning can take place.
Automatic behaviors

Habitual behaviors usually occur in chains of activities: an initial stimulus sets them off, and then a sequence of events occurs. Habit chains are set off by triggers, which are stimulus events that bring the habits to mind and reinforce their execution.

Once a trigger sets a habit chain in motion, it is difficult to stop it: You either don't notice it is happening or it plays with your mind so you don't care. 

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Negotiating without being a pushover

Do:

  • Frame the negotiations as a problem-solving challenge.
  • Take the time to make small talk. It’ll build connections you can leverage later on.
  • Stress t...
The role of anger
The role of anger

Anger is not actually bad for us - it alerts us to the fact that we've been wronged. The racing heart and hot face is your body preparing for a fight or flight response, energizing you to confr...

Managing your anger

Managing your anger is all about managing your thoughts. Your thoughts will determine how you respond.

Strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy can teach people healthier thought patterns.

The Angry Cognitions Scale (ACS)

It helps a user read a set of blood-boiling scenarios and rates how likely they are to have each of six possible reactions. It enables you to recognize unhelpful thoughts that cause a knee-jerk reaction. For example: When you are driving through a residential area, and someone backs their car out of a driveway and nearly hits you. There are six possible reactions:

  • "They did that just so I'd have to stop." This is a fallacy known as misattributing causation - you don't know the other person's intentions.
  • "They almost totaled my car." It catastrophizes a scary situation into utter destruction.
  • "Nobody knows how to drive anymore" overgeneralizes a specific situation into a universal truth.
  • "I was here first. They shouldn't have gotten in my way." Here you make an unreasonable demand that somehow other people should know where you're going.
  • "That dumb jerk!" is inflammatory labeling that dehumanizes and insults the other person.
  • "He must not have seen me" is adaptive and more likely to calm you down.

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An Overwhelmed Team
An Overwhelmed Team

While a manager expects and assumes the team to be top-notch in their work, completing projects like there is no tomorrow, the reality of workers is quite different. More than half of the workforce...

Signs Of An Overwhelmed Team
  1. Dip in energy levels: It happens when the team is not enthusiastic and is only taking reactive actions and going through the motion, exposing the mental pressure they are in.
  2. Work quality is taking a dip: It happens if you see incomplete or sloppy work, along with decreased productivity.
  3. Frayed emotions: If workers are terse and curt with their colleagues in their personal interaction and written correspondence.
  4. Other unexpected irregularities: There may be some that move inside their mental ‘cave’ and others who become overtly extrovert.
Replan And Rebalance

If there are signs of team overwhelm, the manager needs to first see if the work can be shared with others, or if any deadline can be extended, providing some relief to the workers. A replanning of upcoming projects to lessen the intensity of upcoming work can also be worked on.

In many cases it is just a matter of giving the workers a day off to recoup.

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Mark Twain

“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Mark Twain
The most useful learning
Most people think about learning as adding knowledge and skills. You now have a new fact in your mind that didn’t exist before.

The most useful learning isn’t usually a strict addition of new knowledge, but first unlearning something false or unhelpful.

Types of Unlearning
  • Straightforward refutation of the old idea. This complete refutation is atypical. More likely the new knowledge doesn’t contradict the old one, but it may modify it in some way.
  • The new knowledge revises a simpler picture by filling it with more complex details. This is similar to adding new knowledge, although because the older, simpler view of the issue has been overwritten with more detail, there is some unlearning going on.

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Disrupted Routines
Disrupted Routines

Our focus and attention span is our most important asset, and the constant disruptions keep derailing us from our activities, with our brains shifting and wandering all the time.

This is fur...

Our Minds Nee Reflection

Just jumping from one task to another in your to-do list or calendar does not help the mind absorb anything or learn.

The mind needs reflection time to digest information, filter out the mind-noise and convert meaning into learning. It pays to sit back and reflect, even if you feel irritated, vulnerable or bored.

Embrace Change

From online learning for school kids to contactless delivery of Amazon products, the ongoing pandemic has already shown us many social, economical and cultural changes.

Embracing change and the new ways of doing things that were not feasible or acceptable earlier is the way forward, and makes us ready even in times of uncertainty.

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Reinforcing People’s Helpfulness
Reinforcing People’s Helpfulness
  • Strong sense of in-group: the belief that the person in need is on your team makes us more helpful to them as we care about what happens to the in-group. 
  • Opportunity to...
2 types of gratitude expression
  • Other-praising: involves acknowledging and validating the character or abilities of the giver;
  • Self-benefit: which describes how the receiver is better off for having been given help. 

The former makes people feel better with themselves and that you are more grateful when compared to the latter.

Reminding People That They Owe You One

If you have to remind someone that they owe you one, chances are they don’t feel as if they do. Reminding them that they owe you a favor both makes the other person feel as if you’re trying to control them and it makes the other person feel as if you’re keeping a scorecard, and that’s fundamentally bad for relationships.

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The reasons we crave junk food
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How craving are stimulated artificially
  • Salivary response: the more a food causes you to salivate, the more it will cover your taste buds.
  • Rapid food meltdown: this tells your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating a lot of calories.
  • Calorie density. junk foods are designed to convince your brain that it is getting nutrition, but to not fill you up.
  • Memories of past eating experiences: When you eat something tasty, your brain registers that feeling and will bring it up in the future.
Building better habits means changing your environment

Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior.

Nowhere is this more true than with food.

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