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Updated: Apr 9, 2022

Adaptability is a soft skill that means being able to rapidly learn new skills and behaviours in response to changing circumstances.

When lockdown hit, I had fleeting thoughts of whether this was the end of what I had built the last 3 years. I thought I had hit the point when my business was about to fly but then I had to virtually shut it down down as I could no longer hold any face to face training. 

But with the added reflection time I was able to gain a new perspective. A year ago, even 6 months ago I wouldn't have imagined running group leadership courses via zoom and using a range of software to ensure it's interactive. I've now got several streams to my leadership and coaching provision. 

When a leader is under a high level of pressure, they can become ‘rigid’ in their reactions. They can respond to challenges by holding on to what they already know and what they have always done. This can be problematic when those  responses are no longer appropriate for the situation. As such, adaptability is an increasingly important and valuable skill for leaders to develop.

I've noticed in schools, some leaders adapted quickly to lockdown which led to staff, parents and pupils being more relaxed and able to cope with the pressures of working from home and homeschooling their children. However, other leaders  stuck to what they already knew. So, they were insisting on pupils logging in from 8.30-3.30pm and sending in work for 5 or 6 lessons a day, have been monitoring how much work staff have been doing and generally increased the stress and workload for both staff, pupils and parents. 

In this ever-changing and unpredictable world adaptability is an essential leadership skill. If we have a second wave, will you do what you've always done or will you adapt? 

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