Exploring the StrengthsFinder Theme of Adaptability

Have you ever seen those people who can walk into any situation or any environment both calm and excited? Do you know someone who seems to really be okay with change… and even helps lead others through a change process? Or that person who seems to not plan ahead, but always seems to get the job done. These people may have the StrengthsFinder theme of Adaptability.

Definition of Adaptability

Adaptability is the ability to live in the present, freely and willingly able to respond to the demands and changes of the moment. When things change, people with the strength of Adaptability easily adapt and change—they are flexible. They come most alive living in the moment. Because of this, they might not see the future as a set plan or a fixed destination.

Some with StrengthsFinder theme of Adaptability would rather not plan ahead, because that would be too constraining or confining. On the other hand, others with Adaptability need parameters or instructions first. Then they color in that entire space with their plans, options, and ideas that are very intentional and productive.

Think of water flowing down a mountainside — any rock is not an obstacle for someone with Adaptability, it is an opportunity to try a different path and smoothly flow around the stream with ease.

They do not really have to learn to change, they just do. They can deal with just about anything that comes their way, and are very adept at handling the unexpected. The more change the better because change keeps them moving. Obstacles are just something they maneuver around. “No problem, now we can go this way. No worries, we’ll try this, now.”

They live life big, surprising others with their ability to reach beyond what is expected. Consider the timing of this strength: some people with Adaptability change the most when they are in the moment, others may come to life the closer an event gets to them.

When Adaptability is Generative

People with the strength of Adaptability are navigators and adaptors to the here and now. They surf the needs of the moment with ease. If someone with Adaptability opts out of a situation because the demands of change might be too much, this should be a clue to others that the change is too drastic even for someone with Adaptability.

Stuck in a mundane, day after day, position, they might find an alternative way to express their Adaptability—but in changing environments people with Adaptability really can bring their presence.

Remember, if Adaptability is like sand, with a few walls and boundaries it’s a sand box to play in. Without those sandbox walls, it’s just sand all over the place. We also love the image of Adaptability as palm tree that grows by rings in order to bend and sway in strong winds and still be strong.

Behavioral Example of Adaptability

One man remarked about his Adaptability, “Well, I went into my office with a to-do list of 5 things. I ended up doing 10 things, but only 3 of the 5 things on my list.” Adaptability can surprise others with their reach and ability to get a lot done.

  • Some people with Adaptability are most productive leading up to a deadline or a trip.
  • One woman with Adaptability and Arranger arrived early to an event to help out. She looked around with a smile and said, “Ok, what needs to be done?” When given a couple instructions and a time frame, she creatively aligned chairs, tables, and created an invitational atmosphere for others to be present.

Your Adaptability

Do you have the StrengthsFinder theme of Adaptability? How does it work for you? Leave a comment below.