Adaptive Agility: Why Flexibility and Resilience Are the Soft Skills of Tomorrow
The rate of evolution in today’s world of work is extremely fast paced. Candidates like you may find themselves facing an entirely different professional landscape than what they’re used to.
With traditional skill sets not being enough for this dynamic environment, it can be difficult to adjust and learn quickly. So how exactly can you still strive even with all the changes happening? The solution lies in possessing the skill of adaptive agility.
A Comprehensive Skill Breakdown
Adaptive agility refers to an individual’s skill to quickly adjust to varying situations and circumstances. It is an ability that combines specific soft skills in order to succeed.
Possessing adaptive agility goes beyond traditional methods of problem-solving. Instead of motivating people to repeat tried-and-tested solutions, it prompts them to create their own methods based on their current knowledge and context.
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
Some argue that efficiency relies on the ability to replicate an action with accuracy. Although this holds some truth, it doesn’t take into consideration outside factors that may affect the quality of work.
For example, you are setting up the same cybersecurity program for all of your clients. Thanks to your years of experience, the program started running successfully. But what if your client is experiencing issues that are outside of the program’s scope? No matter how efficient you were in replicating your actions, you failed to consider the actual reasons why a company hired you in the first place.
This is where soft skills become crucial to your profession. Accurately repeating an action is something that can be done by machines. Meanwhile, adjusting established methods to fit the needs of your employers and client’s needs is a skill that only humans can offer.
Different soft skills such as empathy, intelligence, and mindfulness become vital factors for your success. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 report on Global Talent Trends, recruiters claim that the reason for 89 percent of unsuccessful hires is generally the lack of soft skills.¹
What Soft Skills Are Needed for Adaptive Agility?
Cultivating soft skills is important for any professional. But to remain updated with the ever-changing landscape of work, there are three skills you should strive to have.
This soft skill involves being able to adapt quickly to new circumstances. It also means you’re always open to different processes as long as they result in the same desired outcome.
For example, a software developer working for a tech company can show flexibility by learning and improving the programming language she is using. This employee won’t show any distress about changing the norm. Instead, she can understand the need for change and embrace it for the sake of her work’s quality and efficiency.
2. Critical Thinking
In situations where a candidate like you is thrown into an unexpected context, critical thinking comes in handy. This soft skill involves objectively analyzing information and making logical and informed decisions. So even in circumstances where you don’t have any proper experience, you would still be able to act efficiently.
Imagine you’re a project manager in an IT department and the project plan passed down to you failed to consider the potential risks of conducting the plan. Critical thinking becomes vital in this situation since you would need to make data-driven decisions about the next steps your people should take. What course of action would lead to a safe and efficient solution?
As a professional, you should know that not every project is going to run smoothly. There will always be some missteps or miscalculations. Although this is the truth, it doesn’t mean it should discourage you from continuing your career. This is where resiliency becomes important.
Being resilient means that you can bounce back from any setbacks you encounter. It helps you feel motivated to continue and find a solution that would best fix the issue encountered. Both flexibility and critical thinking are important soft skills needed to finish a task but there won’t be any need to find solutions if you choose to stop working altogether.
Why Do Employers Look for Candidates with Adaptive Agility?
When looking for potential employees, companies prefer people who are flexible and resilient. Why? Because candidates with these skills are usually open-minded individuals who are also willing to learn and improve.
People who have agility and adaptability are those who can quickly shift gears at a moment’s notice. They can do more than just one specific responsibility. They can also adapt easily to any team, culture, or environment they’re put in. This becomes vital in building rapport and connections with their fellow employees, resulting in much-desired teamwork.
A resilient employee is also someone who can always find the silver lining in every context. Let’s say the deadline for an important project was moved earlier. Instead of being paralyzed with stress, a flexible employee would be able to think critically of possible ways to speed up their working process.
How Can You Improve Your Ability to Quickly Adapt to Situations?
Now that you understand the importance of having these specific skills for your future success, let’s discuss how you can improve them. Consider following these three steps on how to improve agility and adaptability skills.
1. Be Motivated to Gain New Experiences
The only time new experiences are gained is when you go out of your way to try new things. As a professional in a constantly evolving industry, you need to seek out different opportunities for yourself.
Don’t limit your activities to the things you already know. Go out of your comfort zone and engage in responsibilities that challenge you. This could be done by actively volunteering for projects outside of your expertise or by willingly taking on roles of leadership with the goal of broadening your skills and perspectives.
2. Establish a Growth Mindset
It can be difficult to face challenges if you aren’t mentally ready for it. To establish a mindset ready for growth, you need to embrace challenges and accept the fact that you aren’t perfect. This means you can still fail at times, but it shouldn’t stop you from succeeding.
Failure shouldn’t be seen as a barrier but rather as an opportunity for growth. Remind yourself that any skills and abilities can be learned and mastered with enough effort and dedication.
3. Welcome Feedback and Self-Reflection
You need to have a great understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses to adapt to every situation. You also need to regularly reflect on your abilities and acknowledge the areas that need improvement.
Aside from self-reflection, listening to feedback from others can also help you pinpoint weaknesses not visible to you. When receiving feedback, keep an open mind. Use it as your basis for your growth and improvement.
GRAB UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES WITH ON-DEMAND GROUP
On-Demand Group understands the importance of agility and adaptability in today’s modern world. As a staff augmentation and technology consulting firm, we offer quality opportunities to help you showcase your flexible and resilient nature.
Whether through contract, contract-to-hire, or direct hire, we provide unique chances for career growth. Contact us today to embrace agility and adaptability in your professional journey!
1 Kimbrough, Karin. “Data-driven Insights into the Changing World of Work.” LinkedIn, 2019, business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/global-talent-trends. Accessed 19 July 2023.