The 2 Seemingly Opposite Traits That Work Together To Drive Your Career
On their own, consistency and adaptability are admirable traits.
Consistency speaks to reliability and trust, while adaptability lends itself to innovative thinking and problem-solving. Though seemingly opposite, consistency and adaptability are a potent combo when leveraged in the professional world.
Here’s why you need to master both to drive your career:
While some search for the latest shortcut, growth hack, or way to game the algorithm, those who put in the hard work, day after day, and make a deliberate choice to continue to show up, matter what, ultimately prevail.
Consistency is about having the courage and grit to keep going even when you don’t feel like it, have suffered a setback, or when things are going so well you feel like it will last forever.
Though simple, it’s definitely not easy, which is why so few actually do it. Here are four reasons embracing consistency will set you apart:
- It helps others understand your value. Consistency sends a message to the world about who you are and what you’re about. Without it, you’ll confuse people, lower your competitive advantage and water down your offering.
- It allows you to track your progress. Focus on regularly putting in the reps, so you’ll improve over time and establish a proven track record to document your results.
- It demonstrates your commitment. When you continue to show up as yourself and for others, you demonstrate your accountability as a leader and earn a reputation as someone who always means what she says and says what she does, building and maintaining trust.
- It raises your profile. Consistency is all about playing the long game and resisting the latest trend du jour, chasing popularity. Taking small steps every day that align with and showcase your talents, putting them to their highest and best use, is the best way to build awareness of your personal brand.
While consistency calls for a dependable and unwavering approach, its counterpart, adaptability, eschews that for the ability to adjust to new conditions. It’s about being open and flexible instead of fixed in your mindset and how you do things.
And in today’s ever-evolving global marketplace, possessing adaptability isn’t just a nicety; it’s essential for survival. Maintaining the ability to adapt your thinking and actions to handle unforeseen circumstances can help position you as an indispensable team member who can roll with the punches.
Here are five ways to build your adaptability:
- Resist “because we’ve always done it this way” thinking. Challenge yourself to consider new possibilities. When you’re adaptable, you’re open to changes that could help you be more productive and efficient with time and financial and human resources.
- Continue to offer up alternative solutions. Adaptable people continue to offer up alternative solutions, even — and especially— when their initial thoughts are turned down. They understand that thinking through and offering many possible scenarios will help them arrive at a favorable option, even if it’s not the first suggestion.
- Keep calm under pressure. When faced with unexpected challenges and changing circumstances, adaptable leaders respond by keeping calm and confident under pressure. Modeling this adaptability also sets the tone for their teams, who often take their cues from management.
- Reject a one-size-fits-all management mentality. People are individuals with unique needs. Take the time to learn about your team members’ needs and then adapt your style to serve them.
- Look for opportunities to stretch yourself. Volunteer for new assignments and proactively develop your skillset and knowledge base. By looking for opportunities to showcase your adaptability, you’ll enhance your experience and reputation as someone adept at change.
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