Situational Adaptability

Adapting approach and demeanor in real time to match the shifting demands of different situations

This competency combines elements of emotional intelligence, flexibility, and people skills. Situational adaptability is about identifying the type of situation you’re in, choosing the right approach for that situation, watching for signs you may need to change your approach again, and adjusting as needed.

For example, skilled salespeople have more than one sales approach. They know their technique needs to shift when they are dealing with a decisive person vs. indecisive person. They may even change their demeanor when they transition from a gregarious to a reserved customer. During the sales process, they listen to concerns, read the customer’s body language, and choose the best response based on what they learn.

Situational Adaptability at LII

Here's what a group of LII leaders had to say about Situational Adaptability:

Read the room.

Pay attention to what others say with their words and body language. Are they upset, annoyed, distracted, bored? If so, something isn’t working. Don’t wait too long – realize it’s time to take a new approach.

Read the room.

Pay attention to what others say with their words and body language. Are they upset, annoyed, distracted, bored? If so, something isn’t working. Don’t wait too long – realize it’s time to take a new approach.

Put it in context.

Situational Adaptability goes beyond reading a room. You need to be able to read the larger environment. You make different decisions in a lean year than a fat year, for example.

Put it in context.

Situational Adaptability goes beyond reading a room. You need to be able to read the larger environment. You make different decisions in a lean year than a fat year, for example.

Anticipate change.

It can be frustrating when you’ve created good plans and you’ve executed them well, and then something turns the tables on you. Accept that changes are always likely and adjusting your plans are part of the job.

Anticipate change.

It can be frustrating when you’ve created good plans and you’ve executed them well, and then something turns the tables on you. Accept that changes are always likely and adjusting your plans are part of the job.

Choose your battles.

Things can’t always go your way. Know when to get on board and when to take a stand. People who fight every time they have a difference of opinion end up being disruptive and ineffective.

Choose your battles.

Things can’t always go your way. Know when to get on board and when to take a stand. People who fight every time they have a difference of opinion end up being disruptive and ineffective.

Don’t take “being yourself” too far.

Being successful at LII requires taking different approaches in different situations. Saying, “This is the way I am,” sends a signal you are either unwilling or incapable of personal growth.

Don’t take “being yourself” too far.

Being successful at LII requires taking different approaches in different situations. Saying, “This is the way I am,” sends a signal you are either unwilling or incapable of personal growth.

How can I apply Situational Adaptability at my level?

Situational Adaptability has slightly different characteristics based on your job level. Click the button for your level.

Adjusts approach in different or changing situations

Learns to be flexible in completing job assignments

Takes cues from others about changes in the situation

Accepts direction on how to adapt approach to changing situations

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Demonstrates flexibility of responses to different situations

Recognizes cues that suggest a change in approach or behavior is needed

Adapts to changing needs, conditions, priorities, or opportunities

Monitors how well approach is working to see if change is needed

You can download a list of all competencies for your job level on the Definitions By Job Level page.

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Adapts or shifts priorities in response to the needs of clients, constituents, or the organization

Helps the workgroup adapt approach to new situations

Knows when to shift approach and when to stay the course in the face of changing demands

Sets an example of adaptability

You can download a list of all competencies for your job level on the Definitions By Job Level page.

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Adapts leadership style in response to a broad range of different situations and challenges

Brings an approach to flexibility that becomes ingrained in the organization’s structures, systems, and culture

Guides the organization to remain flexible in a changing, competitive environment by being a role model for adaptability

Initiates change in response to the cues in the external environment

You can download a list of all competencies for your job level on the Definitions By Job Level page.

Go to Definitions By Job Level

Continue Your Learning

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