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?

Remember:

  • 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.

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