​Three Ways to Show Others the Value of Your Adaptability and Resilience​

Despite all the uncertainty we see these days, some people still value predictions and certainty over adaptability and resilience. Then, when their predictions and certainty don’t work, these folks suddenly value adaptability. When we show others the value of our flexibility, we don’t surprise ourselves with fake certainty. We can, especially if we show others why adaptability and resilience offer value.

When we’re adaptable, we see that our reality has changed. And when we exercise our resilience, we create options to choose again.

Let’s start with the idea that we mandate when everyone will return to the office.

“Everyone, Back to the Office!”

I love the idea of being “back” for highly collaborative work. However, as much as I would love to say that all my clients practice significant collaboration, they don’t. Instead, these same people who are back at work now have the same complaint about work before the pandemic. They’re in meetings all day long. All that meeting time means they can’t finish their work while in the office. Many people tell me they had more time to think when they were at home. (Especially if their children were in school or daycare.)

Instead, managers could let teams decide when to use the office vs. when to use remote tools. When managers delegate that decision, they reduce micromanagement. And the teams get to practice their adaptability, resilience, and decision-making.

In addition, these ideas also offer the importance of planning for flexibility:

  • When we explain what we see, we share our reality with others.
  • Creating several options helps people realize they can choose again, that they have other options.
  • When we practice our resilience, we don’t assume we can “just” move forward.

Here’s how these ideas can work.

Tip 1: How Seeing and Explaining Reality Can Support Others

When I take the time to explain my reality to others, we can examine what I see and what they see. Like the blind man and the elephant, if we don’t take the time, we might not realize we each see small, separate pieces, not the whole.

We can create options when we agree and see the whole situation.

Tip 2: Several Options Allows us to Select an Alternative Choice

Because I use the Rule of Three so much, I build multiple options into how I live. But I didn’t always do that. Instead, I took the first alternative, whether that was reasonable or not. But the more we want to adapt, the more options we need so that we can pick something reasonable.

Those options help us realize we don’t have to have precisely the “right” answer—that we can practice.

Tip 3: Options Allows us to Practice Resilience

Resilience is our ability to persevere, even if we’re not sure we will or can succeed. And we often need emotional strength to start and continue to persevere. The more options we have, the more we can treat each as an experiment. We don’t have to commit to one option forever. We can try one option, assess how we’re doing and feeling, and then decide what to do next.

In my experience, we need more adaptability and resilience. How can we rethink everything so we have better lives? The more you show how you use your adaptability and resilience, the more other people might value what you offer.

(For more information, see What’s the Difference Between Resilience and Adaptability?)


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Till next time,


© 2022 Johanna Rothman

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