It pays to be flexible

If there is one thing that this summer has shown us so far it is that there are benefits to be found in being flexible and achieving the art of compromise.

Our fundamentally weird weather has created no end of situations where a great many of us have had to rethink our plans, often on our feet, so that we can continue with our journeys, our meetings, our social plans or our holidays. That ability extends to everything we embark on, especially at work. Call it flexibility, the art of compromise or the skill of being adaptable – it’s all about the same thing.

In this extract from "Professionalism – the ABC for Success" I discuss the essential of skill of being Adaptable.

"Closed minds achieve little and often find themselves stuck in a rut and unable to find a way out so be open to new ideas. Look for opportunities to be involved with people you haven’t worked with before, perhaps in areas which may be new to you or which offer a chance to work at a more senior level than usual.

Consider tackling something which you have gone out of your way to avoid in the past just so that you can say that you have actually tried! Try not to refuse outright if asked to step out of your comfort zone but consider all the angles before making a decision. Identify any problems which may be hampering you or your colleagues and be part of the solution.

Start each day by setting out the detail for your personal to-do list. Making your choices and prioritising means that you know what will fit into your day. It will also mean that you can distinguish between what is important and what would be nice to have the time to do.

Be flexible and politely take the unexpected or intrusions in your stride but only accept what you can find time for by reorganising what is already there. You cannot add to your list without amending it or deferring tasks as you will eventually run the risk of non-delivery. If you really cannot fit it in don’t just offer ‘I don’t have the time’ as your explanation. Explain when you will be able to do it and why it will be slightly delayed.

Careful planning avoids, as far as possible, urgent matters cropping up but it will never prevent a crisis from occurring. Deal with these in a calm, efficient way. Be available, help when and where you can, ensure your door is open (within reason)."

If you are having difficulties fitting in all the demands you face each day then I’d love to help you so do give me a call.