Reacting Flexibly

We live in a world where rigidity is not a strength. It might be a nice-to-have but being rigid leads you quickly to your breaking point. It is more necessary to be flexible. Reacting flexibly is doing something in a different way to what you are used to or what was intended (if conditions require this).

Someone who reacts flexibly manages to adapt if the circumstances change. These people also react flexibly to surprises whether pleasant or not.

“Reacting Flexibly” as a Competency

People with a high level of this ability will often adjust their plans or their way of doing things if circumstances change. The downside is that they are often too ready to relinquish their goals and pursue another.

People with a low level will easily become confused if things get into unfamiliar territory. They often have trouble functioning in new situations or adapting to unusual circumstances or people who are “different”.

A high level of this competency is useful when people are often faced with new or unexpected situations and have to think on their feet. For example, stand-up comedians, emergency doctors, or travel guides require a high-level of this competency.

How Can you Develop this Competency?

There are many ways to go about this. However, here are four tips you can start with right now.

  • introduce variety into your day-to-day habits.
  • make a habit of not criticizing other people’s ideas but try to learn more about it.
  • put yourself in other circumstances that you are not used to and think on what you can do better e.g. imagine you were born elsewhwere or had a different parent.
  • relativize your own goals and approach.

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