The necessary skill set I need to improve on is adaptability. I am fearful of change and the uncertainty that comes with change. I believe my strong skill set, time management, I have mastered. That is why I chose to learn more about my weaker skill set. Adaptability can be defined as the ability to change, or be changed, to fit changed circumstances. (Adaptability – Dictionary Definition) Conflict is both cause and a consequence of change. When people experience a conflict, they manage it by making changes to the situation or their attitudes. (Certo, 2019) As an employee or supervisor you have to be able to adapt, especially in the fast changing pace we now live in. I cannot allow fear to hinder my success. Being adaptive to change is difficult for someone like me that gets anxiety of not knowing what to expect. I am a creature of habit that follows routines and schedules. In order to make myself more accepting to change, I will use three strategies; reevaluate my motivation, maintain an open mind, and acknowledge that changes are bound to occur.
Reevaluate MotivationOrder now
Most employees need motivation to feel good about their jobs and perform optimally. Some employees are money motivated while others find recognition and rewards personally motivating. Motivation levels within the workplace have a direct impact on employee productivity. Workers who are motivated and excited about their jobs carry out their responsibilities to the best of their ability and production numbers increase as a result. (Scott, 2019) When confronted with change I will have to remind myself of what my motivation is. I was offered a promotion at work and I turned it down because I was afraid of the uncertainty. I later regretted not taking the promotion because it would have helped me financially. That is a time I should have reevaluated my motivation for working. I should have reminded myself that if I want to be successful I have to be willing to accept change. Adaptable people flourish amidst chaos while inflexible ones flounder; they find openings in situations where others only see closure. Without adapting to change, a leader’s effectiveness is both limited and limit-ing because inflexibility not only precludes one’s personal growth but also that of one’s followers. (Boss, 2014)
Maintaining an Open Mind
Maintaining an open mind will allow an opening to learn from change. With change comes experience. It will allow me to not only learn from experiences, but from others. I will learn how everyone has some fear of change and it is how they handle it is what makes all the difference. It will also fuel creativity and innovation. When you open your mind, you free yourself from having to be in complete control of your thoughts. You allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts and you challenge the beliefs you currently have. (Williams, 2013) Being open-minded also means being tolerant, fair-minded and receptive as well as expressing just attitudes and actions. (Paige, 2016)
Acknowledge That Changes Are Bound to Occur
Essentially our brains learn what works and what doesn’t early on. This is great on one hand, because it means we don’t have to keep relearning positive behaviors. But the downside is that the brain gets used to doing certain things in a certain way so that over time, introducing new behavioral modes becomes challenging. (“Why we find change so difficult, according to neuroscience.”) Change happens every day in our personal and professional lives. How we adapt to those changes can have a great impact on our success.
Barriers that I face when it comes to change is that I see change as a threat instead of an opportunity. I am very resistant because I need complete clarity. I need to make sure I understand every aspect of the change and I need time to process it. I tend to over think and it deters me. In being more accepting to change I will open more doors for myself by eliminating the fears associated with change. I have second guessed myself many times when applying for higher positions because I was afraid and overthought my own capabilities.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Adapting to change will make me a better leader and employee. It will allow me to grow both professionally and personally. Once I finish my degree, adaptability will help me in my career transitions. By learning to be more adaptive I will not second guess my abilities to adapt to a new environment. It will also help me learn from others, be more creative, and innovative. A disadvantage is that you have to be willing to experience a shift in their attitudes, values, and behaviors. That can be difficult for many leaders because it doesn’t feel natural to make this shift. People can feel like they’re being disloyal to themselves if they shift an attitude to meet the needs of a specific employee. (11 Advantages and Disadvantages of Adaptive Leadership Styles.)
The practices I recommend would be to ask questions before deciding or reacting to change. Make sure you have complete clarity to make the change easier to handle. Another practice I will take on will be to just jump in to situations even when I don’t feel comfortable. I think by putting myself in situations that make me feel uncomfortable will help me overcome the fear of change.