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What Creates Behavioural Flexibility

I’ve spoken about behavioural flexibility before and I’ve realised over the last few weeks how essential it is to dealing with what life throws at us.

I define behavioural flexibility as being able to adapt to any given situation by having a range of responses, rather than the same habitual and therefore limiting response, so we respond to each circumstance in the most effective way.

Several people have mentioned to me recently, that though they may work for a difficult boss (passive aggressive, psychotic, narcissistic are some of the words used to describe them), that they are OK and roll with the behaviour and have found the best way to still enjoy what they do in spite of the person they report to.

They also admit that peers struggle with the same person, which can lead to stress, high levels of cortisol, bullying charges and absence.

What makes one person behaviourally flexible and others not so much?

While I would personally love to wave a magic wand and make everyone reasonable and pleasant to work with, that is not going to happen. How can each of us individually oomph up our ability to respond differently to get different (and better) results?

What is one aspect of your behaviour that you seldom use. Perhaps instead of tensing up when having to deal with a difficult person – learn to relax your body and focus on listening to understand.

Instead of avoiding having a difficult conversation, learn how to have resourceful conversations and provide the feedback you want to give about how you are feeling.

Instead of staying quiet in meetings, learn how you can speak up to be heard.

Instead of going with the flow and what others are saying, even if you disagree, start asking questions to open up others thinking.

Instead of being defensive or accusatory when something doesn’t go your way develop strategies to break your habitual patterns of behaviour.

If you get the same response from people when you interact with them (and it’s not useful), maybe it’s time for you to try something different – to achieve a different result.

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