Adaptability - being a master of change

RocheMartin defines Emotional Intelligence by a set of 10 competencies and this is one in a series of blogs covering each one: Why develop Adaptability, what is it exactly and how can you develop it?

Why develop Adaptability?


To not only survive but thrive in a constantly changing world,
you need to be a master of change.

Chameleons. Pretty funky looking animals and brilliant at change!

Instantly and instinctively changing the appearance of their skin when they sense a change in their environment.

Their survival depends on their ability to change.

And so does ours.

As individuals, teams and businesses, if our aim is to not only survive but thrive in a world that is constantly giving us new challenges to deal with and respond to, we need to be able to...

Deal with change

Find ways to ‘keep our heads’, and keep going through changing, challenging and uncertain times. Maintaining our balance, focus and clear thinking when the odds of being able to do that are against us.

Implement change

Proactively make changes as quickly and easily as possible, so that we can rapidly respond to changes in our environment, get more of what we want, less of what we don’t want and be more of who we want to be.

Develop for change

Develop the knowledge, skills ad mindsets that allow us to do both of those well and often.

...and Adaptability is the key component for that!

Having adaptability means that you'll

  • Be willing to take on feedback that will help you grow and develop, find new options and different ways of solving issues.

  • Embrace the challenge of change rather than finding change scary, painful or uncomfortable.

  • Feel OK and 'go with the flow' when things change.

  • Be open to new ideas and experimentation.

  • Handle differences between people well and be able to deal with potential conflict as a result. Happy to explore and understand other perspectives and willing to consider making adjustments to how you think and behave.

  • Communicate more effectively as you will be happy to flex your style to make sure you are understood in a way that works for your audience.

"If you dislike change, you're going to dislike irrelevance even more"

Eric Shinseki

So if you don't want to become irrelevant, get stuck where you are, struggle every time something changes, be limited by your own thoughts or risk being misunderstood, then developing Adaptability would be a good move.

What is Adaptability exactly?

Adaptability is about being willing and able to take on new ideas and change how you think, feel and behave

As with all the RocheMartin emotional intelligence competencies, Adaptability can be broken down into 3 components, which help to pinpoint areas of strength and areas for development.

The 3 components of Adaptability are


Accepting the situation helps keep our minds calm which helps us with our Self-Control (another emotional intelligence competency).

And that means we're able to stay thinking logically about what to do next...opening the door for the next two components which lead to being adaptable.


Being willing to consider different options of thought, behaviour and action.

We need to be open-minded to identify what options we may have.


Willing to give some or all of those options a go.

Experiment with different ways of thinking or behaving. other words...

We are where we are.
Now what are our options and what are we going to do?

How can you develop Adaptability?

Coaching is by far the most efficient, effective, engaging, empowering and enjoyable way to build any of the Emotional Intelligence competencies.

Helping you to develop, refine and embed your own personalised strategies for each competency.

And this blog contains some ideas for you to experiment with on your own that have worked for me and my clients.

If you’re interested in understanding your level of emotional intelligence using one of the RocheMartin assessments or would like to explore coaching for developing components of it like Adaptability, you can book a free call here.

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