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In order to be adaptable, you need to have the ability to find alternative solutions to problems as they arise. To do this successfully, it’s important to:
There are tactics you can use to help you adapt to new environments and find alternative solutions to problems, such as practicing emotional intelligence, brainstorming, and mind-mapping.
Adapting to a new situation or environment can be an emotional experience at first for many people. People often talk of fear, palpitations, and dismay at the thought of a big change; and although positive feelings may also be felt, such as joy and excitement, they can be equally powerful emotions. Having emotional intelligence means having the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It is widely acknowledged that emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success. Numerous studies have shown that people with high emotional intelligence enjoy greater job performance and personal mental health, and possess strong leadership skills.
Emotional intelligence was recognized in 1964 by Michael Beldoch and gained popularity in 1995 with the science journalist Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence. According to Goleman, there are five main elements of emotional intelligence:
If you can learn to recognize your own emotions and those of others, and recognize how emotions influence your actions, then you can discern between different feelings and label them appropriately. You can then use this emotional information to guide your thinking and adjust your emotions to adapt to a new environment or achieve a particular goal.
Brainstorming is the method of creating ideas to solve an issue, and so it is a perfect tool to help you to adapt to an arising situation. Brainstorming allows people to draw links between topics in a free-thinking environment, thereby broadening the adaptive-solution space.
There are some simple steps involved in brainstorming:
The objective is ‘quantity over quality’ – so through drawing or writing, get everything down
Once you have finished brainstorming, be open-minded about other arising possibilities. Consider what you need to know more about, what can you eliminate, and if there are any barriers. Weigh up all of the possibilities and list potential alternatives. Try not to be influenced by your held beliefs. Select ideas that are adaptable, write them down, and implement them.
Another effective method for gaining a clear overview and allowing you to adapt to a new situation is to use Tony Buzan’s ‘Mind-Mapping’ process. According to Buzan, “A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.”
In the context of gaining an overview and adapting to a complex situation, mind-mapping is an invaluable review tool. A typical mind map looks something like this:
Tony Buzan suggests the following ten steps to make the best use of the mind-map process:
While there are numerous apps you can use for brainstorming and mind-mapping, pen and paper or whiteboard are often the best, as using them allows you to slow down your thinking and tap more effectively into your memories, and the information flow onto paper or whiteboard is smoother.Back to Top
CEO of Personal Skills Training, Senior Coach at Kevin J Reid Coaching, Co-founder and Communications Director of The Counsel.ie, and Lead Collaborator of LeitrimMade.com
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
When it comes to improving your personal skills in the workplace, four essential skills stand out: the ability to be more productive at work; the ability to adapt to a changing work environment; the ability to manage your time effectively; and the ability to deal with setbacks. This module focuses on enhancing your skills in these four critical areas.
When it comes to productivity, you will learn about the difference between being busy and being productive, and techniques you can use to increase your output and to deal with unwelcome distractions and interruptions.
The lesson on adaptability focuses on how to cultivate an adaptable mind-set at work, and how to find alternative – and innovative – solutions to problems by using tactics like brainstorming and mind-mapping.
The time-management lesson explains how to prioritize tasks and set goals, how to save and create time, and how to eliminate personal time stealers such as excessively viewing email or attending too many meetings.
The module concludes with a lesson on how to respond to setbacks in the workplace. You will discover the importance of demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity, and how to turn setbacks into valuable learning opportunities.
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