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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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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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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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