What's Your AQ?

“Rapid technological change means workers must keep learning, to the point where an ability to adapt – your adaptability quotient (AQ) – is becoming the X-factor for career success.” – BBC.com Worklife 101


This summer the BBC reported the importance of adaptability in career success. It was a small ripple perhaps in the news-scape, but it shed some light on the impact of the rapid pace of change on our ability to be relevant, empowered, and successful in the workplace, and beyond.

Let’s start by expanding the definition of the word “success” here for a moment. Evolutionarily, “success” basically means “not dying, and passing your genes on to the next generation.” It’s pretty simple.

So you can look at adaptability as simply the quality of being able to adjust to varying conditions. In our current world, it’s also the ability to respond quickly and skillfully to changing circumstances. Under an ever-increasing onslaught of information, stimulation, and stress, if you want to be successful at work or in your life in general, you need to be aware, nimble, and responsive. Having the ability to maintain presence and not be overwhelmed is critical.

Picking one strategy or way of working and clinging to it tenaciously just doesn’t cut it anymore here at the close of the 2nd decade of the 21st century. That’s a recipe for failure.

The rub? You’re going to blow it sometime.

It’s inevitable that at some point, the stressors of your world will overcome your ability to adapt. So what then?

Adaptability also includes (in my opinion) the quality of resiliency – the ability to bounce back, reground yourself, get resourced, and pivot or fully course-correct from what overtook you in the first place.

So how does a person develop adaptability?

I look at this question holistically:  how do we make a person’s physical-mental-emotional system more adaptable? Creating greater AQ in any of one those realms will improve the whole system.

As an early mentor of mine put it, health is a measure of adaptability – mentally, physically, and emotionally. So, you can look at a person’s overall health as a correlate for adaptability. A healthy system is adaptable, and an adaptable system is healthy.

The primary doorway to greater adaptability and health that I help my clients develop is awareness.

Awareness of the information their bodies are sending them, of what’s happening in their mental and emotional realms, how they physically move through the world, and how all that information fits together to form their operating software. Understanding this information gives us a view into the set of algorithms determining the way they show up, perceive, and act in their world.

That right there is the basis for greater adaptability. The ability to connect with and understand how your System works without you even thinking about it gives you direct access to choice and new strategies when the old ones aren’t working. It hones your presence, awareness, and flexibility in a rapidly changing environment.

So maybe something’s not working for you physically from years of doing the same thing over and over (sitting at a desk, commuting, being less-than-active, etc.). If that’s the case, contact me about scheduling a Somatic Re-Engineering session (my unique blend of Rolfing and Mindful Movement).

Or perhaps something in the non-physical aspects of your world isn’t working (your career or life path feel uninspired, certain people are constantly challenging to you, your relationship with money feels off, or it seems like your momentum’s just stalling out). That you? Schedule a call with me to discuss Body-Mind Coaching (based on Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychology).

Either path will lead you to greater awareness, up-leveled AQ, and improved overall health as we learn how you operate, give you some new tools to level yourself up, and give you access to parts of yourself that you may not think even exist.

The destination from there is anywhere you want really. Adaptable, nimble people create the world they want, so enjoy!

So what do you think your AQ is? Comment below and let me know!