People Skills to Show Your Change Ability #peopleskills #career

People Skills at Work: Change Ability Gets You Hired & Promoted

People Skills: Image is black slinky.

People Skills: Show Your Change Ability and Reliability Image by: afagen

A VP of Human Resources told me that the ONE trait companies seek in people they hire is flexibility, also known as change ability.

A company’s success depends on its ability to change. Employees must show change ability to be hired, retained, and promoted. Those that resist change and cannot adapt are a drain on and a risk to the company’s success.

How do you show your change ability?

Use a growth and innovation mindset and the following professional people skills.

  1. During job interviews, ask what balance of innovation (change) and maintaining the status quo does the company need and the job require? Demonstrate in your questions that you realize both are needed. Recount how you have done both — in your life and previous jobs.
  2. When changes are announced in your company, replace your fear and comments of resistance with questions about how best to contribute to make the change happen. Engage in the change especially when obstacles seem huge. You increase momentum and leaders notice it!
  3. In your daily work, offer creative ideas to solve existing problems. Help implement whatever idea is selected even if it isn’t yours. In this way, you exhibit both flexibility and reliability.
  4. Invest some of your own time in learning and contribute that knowledge in the workplace. If you continue to grow on your own time, you remain a vital resource. Innovation and growth are driven by a thirst for exploring and learning. Show them that this is a natural part of you.
  5. Be deserving. Don’t act entitled. Changes aren’t always fair to everyone. Yet if you have continued to grow on your own and engaged instead of resisted, leaders will see you as valuable for the new design.
  6. Flex your personality style. Most humans under stress intensify their primary personality trait. Drivers show impatience and want answers now. Analytics ask for more and more data before changing. Amiables resist changes that affect relationships. Expressives increase their communication to the point it blocks others’. Be aware of your type. Practice moderating your behavior every day so you can adapt more easily during stressful times. This shows your change ability and helps ease the stress for all.
  7. Develop and exhibit excellent conflict resolution skills. Don’t be a temperamental employee who comes across as inflexible in the face of resistance and conflict. If you can both innovate and work through resistance and conflict with professional people skills, you are valuable to the business.

A thought to increase your change ability: If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less. ~General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, US Army

Change ability does not mean you are a fake. Authenticity and change ability are not contradictory behaviors. Change ability does not mean you are indecisive, unreliable, or fickle.

Change ability is a skill of balance during the momentum of change. Your people skills are its advertisement and messenger.

What people skills behavior have helped you grow and show your change ability?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Grateful for image by afagen via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Related Posts:
Is Habit Stopping Your Change Ability?
12 Most Beneficial People Skills to Hit the Bulls Eye When You Have Little Power
12 Essential Thoughts to Proficient People Skills

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

13 Responses to “People Skills to Show Your Change Ability #peopleskills #career”

  1. Alan Berkson says:

    You’ve put a finger on something that tickled the back of my mind but I could never quite articulate. My most successful employees have not been the brightest, or most qualified, but the ones who were able to adapt to the changing needs of my company.


  2. Kate,

    #3 Replace your Fear…. I love that. Fear holds us back is so many ways. People typically fear change because of the unknown. Even if the status quo is leading them off a cliff, they still embrace it.

    Leadership’s fastest way to kill innovation is saying, “That’s how we’ve always done it here”.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Adding to your thought about fear — many people change when the fear or risk of changing is less than the fear/risk of staying the same. I teach people how to find the courage to change sooner. Thanks for your perspective and time in contributing to this post.

  3. Kate Nasser says:

    It is easy to lose the way during a change Dan — thanks for adding the “energy” focus to this discussion.

  4. Michelle Romanica says:

    Hi Kate,
    You’ve brought up what I think is one of the most valuable skills in these changing times. I wonder, though, how many people who are hiring right now, are still asking questions around hard skills rather than soft skills such as adaptability.
    You can often get a sense for whether a person is flexible or not by asking them to tell you about a time when things went wrong at work. Do they attach their emotion and energy to the problem and play the blame game or do they state the situation factually? When asked what they contributed to resolving the problem, do they say there was nothing they could do or do they attach emotion and energy to the resolution and relate what they did about it? Determining where someone’s focus is – staying in the story of the problem – or moving forward in the story of change and resolution.

    You do a fabulous job of enlightening people and educating on the importance of soft skills in this new value based economy. Keep up the great work, Kate!
    Warm regards,

  5. Guy Farmer says:

    Great tips Kate. Change is such a great opportunity to create positive movement and think in different ways. I especially like the idea of using people’s creativity and finding ways to interrupt the status quo.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks Guy and welcome to my blog. So pleased that a fellow consultant/trainer wants to dialogue here and contribute.

      Hope you will visit and comment on any post that captures your attention and thoughts.

      Regards and thanks,

  6. Liz Weber says:

    Ah Kate, you note something here that I consistently “preach” to my audiences to help individuals stand out: Be willing to invest some of your own time, develop some additional skills, do SOMETHING to bring SOMETHING else to the table. Doing just what you’re paid to do is expected — that’s your base job. Leaders look for and appreciate others who do their jobs well, but also bring unexpected talents and insights that help move the organization forward. Kudos on another great post.! Liz

  7. Carl says:

    Wonderful post Kate, and as the comments reflect – you’ve got your finger on the pulse of what life is like in our world today. Change is almost always synonymous with growth, so our level of comfort is determined by our willingness to embrace it. Your post helps raise the awareness and provide excellent survival strategies.

    Best regards, and very appreciative of your work and thoughts,

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Many thanks Carl. It is a current topic — and an old one as well! Change is constant as odd as that sounds. People who can embrace it quickly, work through conflict, and make the new happen succeed.

      So pleased to have your insight here!

  8. george Kyros says:

    Kate, I congratulate you on a really thought provoking article. I have copied and shared this with all my work colleagues and students. The points you make are very relevant in a time where change within organizations is a frequent occurrence, and if approached in the positive way you recommend can lead to success.

    Thanks for that.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you George! It is touch sometimes to approach tough moments with strength of optimism and positive vision. I am grateful that you are sharing this post with others.

      All the best and thank you for the comment here!

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