ADAPTABILITY-AN IMPORTANT ASSET TO FURTHER YOUR CAREER GOALS

ADAPTABILITY

 

Adaptability is your willingness and ability to behave in ways that are not necessarily characteristic of your style in order to deal effectively with the requirements of a situation or relationship.   Adaptable people make the choice to go beyond their own comfort zones so others feel more comfortable. 

 

With adaptability, you can treat people the way they want to be treated. You practice adaptability every time you slow down with another person who does not feel as comfortable moving as fast as you do. You also practice adaptability when you take time to listen to a personal story from another person, rather than getting right down to the task at hand.

Adaptability is important because people are different and need to be treated differently. You develop open and honest relationships with others by being tactful, reasonable, and understanding.

Do you have a story to share about what you have had to do to show adaptability in your work area? Let me know in a comment what has happened to you! Let’s share and help each other.

 

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Can You Adjust?

ADJUSTING TO OTHER PEOPLE’S BEHAVIORAL STYLES

 

 

Use the following suggestions to adapt to other people’s behavioral styles.

 

NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT:

 Relaters             How it will affect their personal circumstances

 Thinkers           How they can justify it logically / how it works

 Socializers       How it enhances their status and visibility

 Directors           What it does / by when / what it costs

 

DO IT WITH:

Relaters             Warmth

 Thinkers           Accuracy

 Socializers       Flair

 Directors           Conviction

 

SAVE THEM:

Relaters             Conflict

 Thinkers           Embarrassment

 Socializers       Effort

 Directors           Time

 

                             TO FACILITATE DECISION-MAKING PROVIDE:

 Relaters             Personal service and assurances

 Thinkers           Data and documentation

 Socializers       Testimonials and incentives

 Directors           Options with supporting analysis

 

                             LIKES YOU TO BE:

 Relaters             Pleasant

 Thinkers           Precise

 Socializers       Stimulating

 Directors           To the point

 

                             SUPPORT THEIR:

 Relaters             Feelings

 Thinkers           Procedures

 Socializers       Ideas

 Directors           Goals

 

                             CREATE THIS ENVIRONMENT:

 Relaters             Personal

 Thinkers           Serious

 Socializers       Enthusiastic

 Directors           Businesslike

 

                             MAINTAIN THIS PACE:

 Relaters             Slow/ relaxed

 Thinkers           Slow/ systematic

 Socializers       Fast/ spontaneous

 Directors           Fast/ decisive

 

                             FOCUS ON THIS PRIORITY:

 Relaters             The relationship/ communication

Thinkers           The task/ the process

 Socializers       The relationship/ interaction

 Directors           The task/ the results

 

                             AT PLAY BE:

 Relaters             Casual and cooperative

 Thinkers           Structured/ Play by the rules

Socializers       Spontaneous and playful

Directors           Competitive and aggressive

 

                             USE TIME TO:

 Relaters             Develop the relationship

 Thinkers           Ensure accuracy

Socializers       Enjoy the interaction

Directors           Act efficiently

 

                             WRITE THIS WAY:

 Relaters             Warm and friendly

 Thinkers           Detailed and precise

Socializers       Informal and dramatic

Directors           Short and to the point

 

                             ON THE TELEPHONE BE:

 Relaters             Warm and pleasant

 Thinkers           Businesslike and precise

Socializers       Conversational and playful

Directors           Short and to the point

Personal Space-How close do you let people come?

Personal Space-How Far Do You Think It Is?

An aspect of space that we use to communicate with others is air space around us. We assume that this is our personal territory, much like a private air bubble. We feel a proprietary right to this space and resent others entering it unless they are invited. The exact dimensions of these private bubbles vary from culture to culture, but some generalities can be useful in helping us receive and send messages more clearly through the use of this medium.

How many times have you sat next to a stranger on an airplane or in a movie theater and jockeyed for the single armrest between you? Since touching is definitely a personal space violation in our culture, the more aggressive person who is not afraid of touching someone usually wins the territory.

Research in the field of proxemics has revealed that adult American business people have four basic distances of interaction. These are:

Intimate Zone — ranges from actual physical contact to two feet.
Personal Zone — ranges from approximately two-four feet.
Social Zone — extends from nearly four-twelve feet.
Public Zone — stretches from twelve feet away to the limits of hearing and sight.

People are not necessarily conscious of the importance of maintaining these distances until violations occur. How you feel about people entering these different zones depends upon who they are. You might feel quite uncomfortable and resentful if a business associate entered your Intimate or Personal Zone during a conversation. If the person were your spouse, however, you would probably feel quite good, even if he/ she were so close as to touch you.

People can generally be classified into two major proxemic categories–contact and non-contact. According to author Edward Hall, Americans and Northern Europeans typify the non-contact group due to the small amount of touching that takes place during their transactions. On the other hand, Arabs, Latins, and the Mediterranean countries normally use much contact in their conversations. In addition, although Americans are considered a non-contact group in general, there are obviously significant numbers of Americans who are “contact” people.

When these two major patterns of proxemic behavior meet, their interaction normally ends in a clash. The contact people unknowingly get too close or touch the non-contact people. This leads to discomfort, tension, distrust, and misunderstanding between the two. A commonly used example is that of the South American and North American businesspeople interacting at a cocktail party. For the South American, the appropriate zone for interaction is Personal to Intimate and includes frequent touching to make a point. This is about half the distance minus touch that the North American needs to be in his/her comfortable Social Zone. The South American would step closer, and the North American backward, in a strange proxemic dance until both gave up the relationship as a lost cause because of the other’s “cold” or “pushy” behavior.

Contact and non-contact people have conflicting perceptions of each other based solely on their proxemic behavior. The non-contact people are seen as shy, cold, and impolite by the contact people. On the other hand, non-contact people perceive contact people as pushy, aggressive, and impolite. Often people are bewildered by interactions with other persons displaying different proxemic behaviors. When a proxemic violation occurs, a person generally has a feeling that something is not right but may not be able to focus directly on the cause. Attention usually focuses on the other person and why the other person is not behaving in the “proper” manner. Attention may even be focused on yourself, causing you to become self-conscious. In either case, attention shifts to the behavior of the two transactions and away from the conversation at hand and interferes with effective communication.

Do You Take Risks?

Unreasonable Risk-Taking

 

Unreasonable risk-takers are individuals who tend to over-emphasize the resources they have available or can acquire to accomplish their objectives. Or, they’re people who under-emphasize the barriers that are likely to get in their way.

There’s been a lot of emphasis in the past decade or so on risk-taking as a positive trait of high achieving individuals. Most corporate environments don’t encourage risk-taking. Neither do government bureaucracies. So “unreasonable risk-taking” might not seem like much of a problem, except that we’re talking about increasing power and influence with others. That demands that you take risks, provide leadership, and create visions for others. So risk-taking comes with the territory of adaptability.

This is just a note of caution to take reasonable risks. Psychologist David McClelland and others who have researched high achievers say the most successful individuals take moderate risks which have a 30 percent to 70 percent chance of being accomplished. Taking a risk on something that has less than a 30 percent chance of success is considered reckless behavior rather than reasonable risk taking. This is especially true if you’re risking the resources of other people in the process.

Accomplishing something, which has over 70 percent chance of success, is essentially not taking a risk in the first place. Assessing risk involves both looking at what positive factors are in the plan, as well as the negative factors that stand to get in the way. There’s usually no way to do an ironclad assessment of a plan. Oftentimes the factor that weights the balance in one direction or the other is the person taking the risk. How much follow-through do you have? How much energy are you going to bring to the enterprise? If the going gets tough, can you count on yourself to keep going?

A great majority of businesses begun by individuals in this country fail within the first 5 years. Starting a new business is always a risk, but a good business plan upfront will help assess the chances for success. According to Michael Gerber, who runs a nationwide training company for fledgling entrepreneurs, the number one reason for the failure of startup businesses is under-estimation of the resources it takes to keep a business going. Under-estimate of the capital required, under-estimate of the time it takes, and under-estimate of the expertise it takes to run your own business. Yet every year, hundreds of thousands of people hang out their sign, print their business cards and wait for their first customer or client.

And the good news is that tens of thousands of those businesses do succeed. Because they’ve taken a reasonable risk.

 

Is The Golden Rule Outdated?

Absolutely not! The Golden Rule has as much “glitter” as ever. I believe and practice it 110%, especially when it comes to values, ethics, honesty and consideration. However, when it comes to interpersonal communication, it can very well backfire. The Golden Rule states: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Basically translated, that says to treat others the way you would like to be treated, which of course isn’t always the case.
An addition to the Golden Rule is The Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” The focus of relationships shifts from “this is what I want, so I’ll give everyone the same thing” to “let me first understand what they want and then I’ll give it to them.”
The goal of The Platinum Rule is personal chemistry and productive relationships. You don’t have to change your personality. You simply have to understand what drives people and recognize your options for dealing with them. The Platinum Rule divides behavioral preferences into four personality styles: Director, Socializer, Relater, and Thinker. Everyone possesses the qualities of each style to various degrees and everyone has a dominant style. The key to using The Platinum Rule is understanding what a person’s dominant personality style is and treating him/her appropriately:

Directors are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. They are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations.

Socializers are friendly and enthusiastic and like to be where the action is. They thrive on admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments. They are idea-people who excel at getting others excited about their vision.

Thinkers are analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem solving. They are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Thinkers are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results.

Relaters are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Relaters are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. They are good planners, persistent workers, and good with follow-through.

The Platinum Rule provides powerful life-skills that will serve you well in all your relationships: business, friends, family, spouse, and children.