This interesting article is courtesy of Symblify and well worth repeating here.Tímea Csízik
Coach | OD Consultant | Developer | HR Professional
You might find it hard to answer this question, because flexibility is not a one-dimensional feature. As much as it is a desired quality for most of us, it is also a complex phenomenon, as the word ‘flexibility’ actually covers several separate skills.
It’s useful to break down the meaning of flexibility into five different categories to make self-assessment easier and provide clearer self-knowledge. None of us is perfect in each of these categories but all of us can find our personal strengths among them.
Creativity is the cognitive aspect of flexibility. It means your mind is flexible enough to create something new that does not yet existing (an idea, a solution, a product etc.), as a result of combining well-known things and information. It is important to emphasize these new creations come from a combination of our previous experience, as highly creative people tend to make extremely flexible associations between contents in their mind.
If you know yourself as somebody who often discovers original solutions and connects things that other people would have never associated, then creativity is probable among your strengths from the five types of flexibility.
This is the perceptive aspect of flexibility. In this dimension flexibility refers to the ability to easily see a situation from different perspectives. This can be the perspective of others, and this is why this type of flexibility forms the basis of empathy.
Having a flexible perception can also enable us to examine a situation from a new or unusual angle, that wouldn’t come to other people’s minds.
If you find it easy to understand other people’s point of view and like to examine a question from different angles before making a decision, this type of flexibility may be one of your key strengths.
Incorporating new inputs
We all have some kind of structure in our mind about the world: how things work, how they should or shouldn’t work, how they are connected, how they are grouped etc.
It’s not easy to incorporate new information about the world in our existing systems.
It’s even harder to rebuild our old structure using new inputs and create a system that integrates both our old and our newly acquired information about the world.
If you are flexible in incorporating new inputs that means you are able to accept and embrace change in your environment, relationships, workplace rules etc. and to integrate this change into your everyday life.
Accommodation refers to the behavioral aspect of flexibility. It means you are flexible enough to alter your behavior in social situations in order to adapt to others and build your relationships.
If you find yourself easily accepting compromises in a conversation, you tend to find co-operative solutions instead of competing, you rarely hold on to your own opinion when it contradicts to others’ then this type of flexibility is probably one of your strengths.