The Importance of Adaptability in Teamwork

The Importance of Adaptability in Team Work


Personal rigidity does not mix well with teamwork. As a member of a team, you need to adapt yourself to others in order to be a good team player. Team players that are adaptable are teachable, emotionally secure, creative, and service minded.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Adaptable Team Players Are Teachable

An adaptable team member places a high priority on breaking new ground and is highly teachable. If you are highly skilled in one area, you can use and adapt those skills to new projects. This approach will only work for those team members that are teachable. Team members who are not teachable have a difficult time dealing with change and, as a result, they never adapt well.

Adaptable Team Players Are Emotionally Secure

Everything is a challenge or a threat to the team member that is not emotionally secure. They will tend to react with rigidity and suspicion when another talented person is added to the team, there is a change in their position, or a change in the way things are done. An emotionally secure team member is not nervous by the change. They can evaluate the new situation and change their responsibilities based on its merits.

Adaptable Team Players Are Creative

People that adapt easy are usually creative. When difficulties come, they find a way to overcome them. Creative people do not act in fear when they are challenged to do something different; they say, “let’s try it, even if we blow it.”

Related: Creative Thinking Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Adaptable Team Players Are Service Minded

Team members that are focused on themselves are less likely to make changes for the team than those who are focused on serving others. When your goal is to serve the team, adapting to accomplish the goal is not that difficult.

How to Become a More Adaptable Team Member

  • Make learning a habit: Always look for new things to learn, share it with your friends or colleagues and file away what you have learnt for future use.
  • Reevaluate your role in the team: Look at your current role in the team and try and discover if there is another role you could fulfill better than your current one.
  • Think outside the box: Many people are not adaptable because of negative ruts. Do not think of reasons why something cannot be done, but think of how it can be done. Look for unconventional solutions when you meet a challenge. You will be surprised how creative you can become if you continually strive to do so.

Resources: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player


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