How to Become More Flexible

What is Flexibility?

Flexibility is the ability to adapt one’s style or approach in order to adjust to changing circumstances or to achieve an objective.

The Importance of Flexibility

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, “flexibility and adaptability” rank in the top 10 skills that employers will need by 2025.[1]

How to Practice Flexibility On-the-Job

Would you like to begin developing your flexibility? Below are six on-the-job activities you can use to help you get started.

  1. List out your daily tasks. Which tasks may be subject to variability or other stakeholder involvement? How might you need to maintain flexibility to obtain the best outcome?
  2. Make Time. When engaging in strategic planning, leave time in the project timeline for product testing and/or other iterations that evolve the work product.
  3. Evaluate new tools and technologies. Using resources that support workplace flexibility and efficiency will help you become a flexible leader.
  4. Take on projects where priorities may shift frequently. This can help to develop your ability to adjust strategies and plans on the fly.
  5. Lead a project outside of your expertise. This can force you to rely on the expertise of others and adapt your leadership style to unfamiliar circumstances.
  6. Consider working across different roles or departments. By experiencing different roles or working with diverse teams within the organization, you can learn to adapt to new environments and perspectives.

We strongly recommend that you do not try all of these at once; start by picking one activity and pace yourself from there. Depending on your schedule it might only be feasible to do one activity per week. Note that some activities will also need to be repeated for flexibility to become a habit.

Download the Flexibility Competency Guide

These tips are a part of SIGMA’s Flexibility Competency Development Guide. Download the free PDF below for a complete list of tips and tricks for developing this critical leadership skill.

How SIGMA Can Help

Since 1967, SIGMA consultants have helped thousands of organizations across North America develop their people potential and increase organizational effectiveness. Explore our assessments, coaching, and consulting services below, and contact us if you would like to speak about creating a custom plan for your organization. Develop your flexibility as a leader with SIGMA today.

Leadership Skills Profile –  Revised™ (LSP-R) – SIGMA

Leadership Skills Profile –
Revised™ (LSP-R)

Take our flagship leadership assessment and see how you score on flexibility.

High-Potential  Talent Development   – SIGMA

Talent Development

Use SIGMA’s scientifically validated, industry-tested tools to give your talent development a strong start.

Coaching with a Consultant – SIGMA

Coaching with a
SIGMA Consultant

Participate in one-on-one coaching with SIGMA’s expert consultants.

Looking for More?

If you would like to speak with a consultant about what being a flexible leader looks like at your organization, contact us today. We are happy to share what we’ve learned from client experience and talk about the specific needs of your organization and your team.

Glen Harrison is an organizational transformation consultant and succession planning expert. Over the course of his career, Glen has worked with one-third of the Fortune 500 list and with every level of government in Canada and the United States. Having worked with numerous clients to build robust succession plans from the ground up, Glen has extensive experience in the application of SIGMA’s products and services to help organizations realize their people potential.

[1] World Economic Forum (n.d.). The Future of Jobs Report 2018.

About the Author

Callum Hughson

Managing Editor

Callum is a member of the marketing team and utilizes his communications, marketing, and leadership development experience to create engaging and informative web content for a professional audience. A detailed editor and collaborator, Callum works with SIGMA’s coaches and consultants to deliver evidence-based thought leadership in the area of talent development.