How to develop your AQ

We are constantly faced with change and no more so than in the last 12 months which has brought an incredible amount of uncertainty and concern alongside the changes. Even as we emerge from the pandemic, change is a firm fixture of modern life and in a recent survey by Talent Economy, 91% of organisations said they are looking to recruit people who have the mindset and the skillset to cope effectively and resiliently with change.

Adaptability Quotient

Putting aside IQ and EQ, it now seems to be about AQ – Adaptability Quotient – a concept introduced by Natalie Fratto, an investor in start up businesses, in her TED Talk.

what if…?

So how do you develop AQ? Firstly think about what kind of questions you ask yourself about the future? How open are you to imagining and considering a range of possible scenarios and to what extent do you respond positively to those options as opposed to feeling threatened by them? When you see constraints or blocks, does that leave you feeling inspired or does it make you anxious? What support might you need to put in place to help you balance your energy around future change and possibility? Practising exploring different possibilities can help you develop this skillset.

learn, unlearn, relearn

Secondly consider developing the skill of unlearning. Sounds strange but as we make transitions at home or at work, we can often need to stop doing as many things as there are new things we need to start doing. This may well feel very uncomfortable to begin with so becoming aware of this and working towards accepting it will be an important step. Showing self compassion – being kind to yourself – will speed up your ability to unlearn as well as reframing and limiting beliefs which may be holding you back.

explore or exploit

Lastly consider whether you explore or whether you exploit. The latter will mean that you are prone to try and close things down to get to an outcome rather than leaving yourself open to new opportunities. Both have pros and cons so as always, it’s about striking the right balance for you. Reflect on how it feels to be in explore mode versus exploit mode. How does it feel and what happens in your mind and your body? How does that then tend to drive your behaviour and decision making? Consider what shifts you might want to make for a calmer, happier and healthier life.

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