Flexibility is one of the most important personality traits in a rapidly evolving economic and social environment. During uncertain and unpredictable circumstances, A leader’s ability to modify his/her style and approach is what makes him/her a “flexible leader.” A flexible leader has the guts to adapt to changes and revise his/her plans to incorporate the latest innovation and challenges with the same focus on the goals. Flexibility is more than surviving in a new situation; an adaptable leader can also implement the latest behavior into existing situations. They bring creativity in their work by finding new ways to solve problems, as flexibility is a willingness to try further action.
However, only adapting new behavior is not enough to make someone a flexible leader:
- He/She needs to recognize situations with failed old actions.
- He/She needs to find out what new behaviors can potentially solve the current problems and be feasible to accomplish goals within a given situation.
- Once a new path/action is decided upon, a flexible leader needs to be able to assess the current success and progress of their new behaviors.
He/she needs to re-evaluate or further modify unsuccessful behaviors.
A leader needs to ask the following questions to assess his/her flexibility:
✔ Does he/she depend too much on any one behavior?
✔ Has he/she considered alternate approaches to solving a specific problem?
✔ Is he/she open to trying new suggestions or strategies given by others?
✔ Can he/she recognize when changes to his behavior are needed?
✔ How often does he/she stop to assess the success of his behavior in a situation?
✔ Can the leader encourage his/her employees to be flexible in times of change?
Important step to improve flexibility
Take the following three steps to improve your flexibility:
- Look for new opportunities to become more flexible.
- Pay attention to other advice.
- Keep checking your progress.
⮚ Look for new opportunities to become more flexible:
It’s very common to fall into a routine in daily life and to overlook the opportunities to become flexible. Leaders need to identify situations in which flexibility can be a valuable resource. For instance, a familiar situation changes or a new problem arises; before doing anything else, just consider your immediate response to that situation or problem. Are you choosing a particular behavior because it is the most effective approach? Or is it merely chosen because you often approach new situations in this familiar way? You need to tailor your initial responses to the actual situation at hand. Over time, leaders will learn how to be more comfortable with ambiguity.
⮚ Pay attention to others advice:
When a leader is open to trying new approaches, they need to keep in mind that they do not need to generate all-new solution themselves. A leader should not hesitate to take help from other employees’ knowledge, intellect, and skills in evaluating and implementing new approaches to solve a certain problem. A flexible leader is always open to the input of others. He understands that the best solutions don’t need to come from the top management.
⮚ Keep checking your progress:
A leader has more responsibilities assigned to him or multiple deadlines approaching; it can be tempting to fall back on old approaches or strategies of problem-solving that have been fruitful in the past. Don’t forget to pause before making decisions and tracking your current progress.
If you’re looking to become a leader in your dental field, keep on reading!
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