Africa-Press – Rwanda. Are you a person who can rapidly learn new skills and behaviours in response to changing circumstances? Well, experts believe that someone who is flexible and has the ability to respond effectively to their working conditions, even when things don’t go as planned possess a soft skill known as adaptability.
Frank Rubaduka, CEO of Miss Career Africa says he was once forced to change from one business to another within a very short period of time, because the business he was operating by then was no longer profitable.
Although he didn’t have enough skills for the new business, he says he was forced to learn and adapt because there was no way out other than having another enterprise that would help him survive.
If it wasn’t for his ability to learn and easily adapt to new changes, Rubaduka says he wouldn’t have managed to stay in business.
Experts note that adaptability as a skill can help one survive in their respective areas of work despite changes that might come along in the future.
Being adaptable, Alphonse Uworwabayeho, a lecturer of mathematics at the University of Rwanda’s College of Education says it means working without boundaries, and being open to finding diverse and unexpected solutions to problems and challenges not only in the workplace but also in other areas as well.
He highlights that being adaptable can help someone deal with certain situations, be it at work or in business and that the more one can adapt to changing circumstances, the better the individual will be in everything they undertake.
At the workplace, for instance, he says the more adaptable one is, the more they can manage changes that are bound to happen at an organisation at any given time.
Besides, he says that the more adaptable you are, the more productive you will be overall.
“This is important because being able to handle change with ease frees up the time you might have normally spent being stressed out when a new challenge presents itself,” he says.
Why it’s important
Uworwabayeho says being adaptable is also important because it showcases one’s ability to be resourceful, display your leadership skills, determination, analytical skills among other skills.
He adds that the factors mentioned above are the valuable skills and qualities that an employer looks for in an employee. Therefore, when one is adaptable, they have better chances of fitting in any organisation compared to someone who is not.
Faustin Mutabazi, the chief executive officer at Educational Consultancy Bureau, an organisation that supports education and curriculum activities in Kigali says the more adaptable one is, the more leadership qualities they are bound to possess.
This, he mentions that it can include focus, motivation and an open-minded outlook.
Also, he says that with such qualities, it can be a motivation to others to learn the same skills, adding that the better one can manage change, the better they will be able to lead in whatever they are doing.
He further explains that by being adaptable, it means that one can effectively handle adversity in all areas thus being resilient despite the challenges.
“At the workplace or any other areas, if one encounters challenges and changes, being adaptable will help them find a way of doing away with such setbacks,” he adds.
Mutabazi points out that with the ongoing changes in technology and other fields, people need to stay relevant in their chosen profession. And that the more adaptable one is, the more comfortable they can embrace new ways of doing things.
“This involves the implementation of a new workplace system, new tools, or new business strategies. The more adaptable and therefore relevant you are, the better you will be able to change with the ongoing changes.”
On the other hand, Mutabazi notes that sometimes it’s imperative to make mistakes along the way but just ensure you have mastered a new skill which will contribute to you being adaptable.
“Though making a mistake can be challenging, it also provides you with various opportunities and such is what is needed.”
To be able to be more adaptable, Elie Munezero, youth centre coordinator, Gikondo says focusing on the positive is important.
He says in many situations, things might not go as planned in your working area and that when this happens, it’s ideal for one to focus on the positive.
He advises that one should consider doing what they can to learn from these situations and be optimistic about the future.
Also, to be adaptable, he says there is need for one to learn from their team.
“One great way to learn adaptability is to observe how your colleagues embrace change. Consider the way they showcase their adaptability in certain situations and how you can apply those same concepts. In some cases, one can consider finding out how they do it so that they can as well improve,” he says.
Another way of being adaptable is finding a balance in life.
Munezero notes that it’s normal to have many obligations in life and at work. He says however, one has to maintain balance and that the more balanced one is, the more grounded they will be able to handle impending change.
He advises that one should as well ensure they are taking time to evaluate the various parts of their life and the time they devote to themselves as individuals.