Emotional Intelligence: Flexibility

I believe it has probably been mentioned … but boy, oh, boy… has 2020 been a year, or what? I dare say it has been an unprecedented year! I say that because, like many of you, I have heard the word unprecedented an unprecedented number of times! Disruptive change all around us! Hundreds/thousands of people like me writing and speaking about it on the off chance that somebody, somewhere just woke up from a six-month nap and has no idea what all the fuss is about.

The organizational (and as result, personal) impact of disruption has been predictably varied:

  • Some have had their world turned upside down. They have lost their jobs, and whatever “the new normal” turns out to be, it will not include them doing what they used to do
  • Many are in the process of piecing their world back together. They have kept their jobs but are coming to grips with the long-term realities of executing their role from their living rooms (while three kids attend virtual elementary school down the hall with the dog just plain losing it every time a car drives by!)
  • Some have never been busier. They have not only kept their jobs … they have never had more job security or seen more opportunity

Consider in this regard that we are living smack dab in the middle of a timeless metaphor. Change comes in waves! When those waves hit the beach, some people drown; some people swim; some figure out a way to get in the curl of those waves … and surf.

Regardless of the description that best fits your reality right now, one thing is for sure, flexibility is at a premium! Emotional Intelligence would suggest that flexibility requires you to be able to modify your thoughts, emotions, and behavior in response to change. Some of us are more comfortable with this than others, but it has become a universal imperative, regardless:

  • Organizations want resiliency! As entities, they seek the capability to withstand (at a minimum) the forces of disruptive change that have (in many respects) come out of nowhere this year
  • Organizational resiliency is a function of team adaptability! People that know each other, work with each other, and trust each other “figuring things out” in real time
  • Team adaptability is a function of personal flexibility. Plainly … and simply!

At the end of the day (or perhaps more accurately … by the end of 2020) this is the way we will weather this storm!