Soft Skills Blog: Adaptability

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Chameleons survive their ever-changing environment by changing colors to match it. Similar to the chameleon, humans can adapt to their environment both mentally and emotionally. With the help of this article., you yourself can learn how to adapt when situations change.

Adapting for Adaptability

Have you ever faced a situation where you needed to adapt quickly? When watching a chameleon, you can see how it changes color in about 20 seconds. The pigmented cells in their skin allow them to adjust to their environment to avoid harm. Although we don’t change colors, we aren’t all that different. Learning about adaptability will help us acclimate to conflict just like the chameleon does, except without changing our color!

Adaptability is about responding appropriately to life’s changes. You must be able to adjust your behavior based on your surroundings. If you are adaptable, you will face uncertainty by maintaining self-control during a conflict. If customers are repeatedly served the wrong order, adaptability involves solving this by proposing a solution. By solving the problem, you can have happy customers and more business.

Why should I care?

Throughout college and your career, you will be faced with unexpected obstacles. You can overcome some of those obstacles through improved adaptability. You may need to adjust your study habits to earn a better grade in class. You can adapt to difficult social situations by keeping an open mind about entering new communities of people. Using adaptability, you can combat these situations by finding solutions.

Just as adaptability can help in your academic and personal life, it can also help in your career advancement. Your ability to adapt in the workplace can directly affect your quality and quantity of work. Employees must be able to adapt to  any situation. You must control your temper at work when plans change and adapt to the new situation. If you aren’t scheduled for as many hours as you would like, you can be proactive and pick up shifts from anyone willing to give them to you. This will demonstrate a great work ethic and show your flexibility. Demonstrating your ability to adapt  will present you as a great employee and could possibly lead to a promotion.

Be Like a Chameleon, My Friends

While working on a team in your college classes, you’ll see new people with all kinds of  different perspectives. One way to develop your adaptability is to remember that everyone processes information differently. You will be able to compromise more and it will be easier to cooperate with your group.

During lectures, you might find it difficult to concentrate, but you can recall that using colorful markers and sticky notes has helped with this in the past. Maybe this has made notes more entertaining for you previously. Recognizing how you best adapt to situations will help you adapt in the future.

College is an environment that includes students from different cultures and places throughout the world. This means that within organizations, you will have to adapt to populations that look and speak differently than you. Joining different clubs and activities can be a way for you to practice social adaptability by exposing yourself to a variety of people.

Demonstrating Adaptability

To be more adaptable, expect the unexpected.  In the classroom, if a professor has a different teaching style or homework system that you aren’t used to, you can visit their office hours. Asking the teacher your questions about the class will demonstrate how you are willing to put forth effort to adapt and find success. If you work in a restaurant, you may have to do your co-workers’ tasks if they get sick. Maybe you’re usually the hostess, but a waiter is short handed. You can apply what you already know by stopping by the tables to talk to customers or apologize to them. You can recognize these changes that occur in your life and prepare for them to improve your adaptability skills


You’ll be better equipped for daily life when you practice adaptability. Luckily, this is one of many soft skills that can be learned through practice. While developing your adaptability skills, you may develop some related soft skills in the process: flexibility, inclusiveness, and open-mindedness. Naturally, some skills may be your strengths and others weaknesses. If you find yourself lacking adaptability, improving this skill can help you everyday.