4 Reasons why being adaptable makes you a better team player

skills teamwork adaptable

When you sign up to our free Young Professional training, you soon learn that teamwork is one of the most important life skills there is. Adaptability means being able to cope with change, and it’s a big part of being a team player. Here are four reasons why!

An adapatable team player can be taught something new

Can you be taught new things? Your boss and team members will really hope the answer is ‘yes’. For example, your manager might want to show you how to use some new equipment. Or perhaps you learned to use one kind of email software in your old job (congrats on picking up new digital skills) but now your new boss wants to you use a slightly different kind of software. Can you be taught new ways of doing things without hulking out or turning into a shrinking violet?


  • You can use and adapt skills you already have to new situations
  • Learning new stuff makes you stronger


An adaptable team player doesn’t get defensive

It’s okay if it takes time to learn something new, so long as you are willing to try. What if – let’s be honest here – you are not willing to try? There could be a million reasons, like:

  • You think the way you’re used to doing things is better/safer/easier
  • You think learning something new is boring

Whatever your reasons, some people get defensive if they have to cope with change or learn something new. They put their armour up. They get rude, or eye-roll when they think the boss isn’t looking. They make it clear they don’t want to deal with the change.

But change happens all the time. Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s bad. And the trick in life is to not see changes in work as a threat that could make you look bad. Just suss out the new situation, see the positive side, and get stuck in. Whatever happens, you will end up building your skills and experience.

Some examples:

  • A new manager has been added to the team? Start off on the right foot, being friendly and positive. They might be your manager but as the new person they might also appreciate a friendly face and someone who is willing to listen to their plans for any work changes without running a mile.
  • Let’s say there’s a big change at work, like the office becoming open plan instead of having rooms. Freaky! Everything’s going to look and feel different! But it doesn’t need hours of gossip with everyone getting scared and antsy. Just focus on the positives, since it’s happening anyway. Maybe it will mean more office conversations, which could be a good thing. Find a way to make your little spot feel like a professional home-from-home. Lean into the change instead of feeling bitter or sad.
  • Your work was given critical feedback by your boss? It’s okay, it really is. That happens to everyone, believe it or not. A good way to stay emotionally secure is to remind yourself they’re just talking about your work, not about you. The boss will be impressed and know you’re a team player when you adapt to improve how you do things without getting defensive.

An adaptable team player has creative energy

Being creative doesn’t just mean you’re great at music or art. You’ve got creative energy if you’re willing to try something new – just like the first cavepeople who thought a big round stone might be quite handy as a wheel! When you’re faced with the need to do something different, you don’t collapse in fear. You come up with ideas to work round the changes ahead. You say “let’s give it a go.” This kind of creative ability to adapt to change is so important when you are in a team.

Be the one in the team who says “we’ve got this, let’s give it a go” when faced with team changes. It’s good for team spirit and getting things done!

An adaptable team player thinks of others

Thinking of others is an attractive quality in a team player. That’s why voluntering always looks so good on your CV. When you think of others, your team members know you’ve got their back. Thinking of others also makes you a great team player because you’re not going to create waves in the team dynamic just for the sake of it. When you put yourself first in a selfish way, the rest of the team have to run around trying to deal with your drama. When you feel like the other people in the team are important, it’s easier for you all to achieve great things – especially in times of change!

And there you have it. When you are adaptable and ready for change and growing your skills, it’s good for your team – and good for you too.

Boost your Young Professional skills…

Are You Aged 14-24?
Get FREE Young Professional Training
Are You An Employer?
Get youth employment expert help

For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

Looking for Youth Friendly Employers?

Find out more about some of the organisations offering high quality training and work opportunities to young people. Your next dream role could be just a click away…

Are you getting your free training in the 5 top Young Professional skills?

Problem Solving
Self Belief
Self Management

Sign up for free Young Professional training.

  • Life hacks and pep talks in a weekly newsletter
  • Opportunities from youth-friendly employers and organisations
  • Grow the 5 top life and work skills at your own pace
Registration Options
Please fill in your details
password strength indicator
Additional Info


Are you a real person? If so, click the box
Do you want the weekly newsletter?
IMPORTANT: When you click ‘sign me up’, you’ll be asked to log in using your new username and password. Then you’ll be taken straight to your Young Professional dashboard with lots of info and things to do. You can find this dashboard at any time when you click the orange ‘My Dashboard’ button at the top of the site page and log in!

Latest articles

Go to Dashboard

Teamwork ideas for Christmas

See how to use your teamwork skills at Christmas by helping with festivities at home, making the most of Christmas […]

How to survive your first secret Santa at work

What is Secret Santa? Secret Santa is when people at work give each other cheap, fun anonymous presents as part […]

4 Top networking tips for introverts

Networking with people you don’t know is always a challenge. Introverts who need some internal space can still be great […]

How to talk about using initiative in job interviews

When interviewers ask you to give an example of when you have used your initiative, what do they really mean […]