June 10, 2020

Tap into your inner agility and resilience

Being proactive instead of reactive is a good way to start in building your inner agility and resilience

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The world has changed dramatically since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Now, as businesses start returning, we face an even bigger change: how do we as individuals adjust to the “new normal”?

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Depending on the industry, business, job role, or even stage in life, the new normal can look different to each person. But in a general sense, it refers to new ways of thinking, working, and even consuming.

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We know what we know today. But as we have seen with Covid-19 and can expect to see in the post-pandemic period, things can take a sudden turn. If we’re not prepared for such changes, we will find ourselves struggling to keep up. This is where agility comes in.

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Everyone is aware that inner agility is important and it has become a universal buzzword, to the point where you might be tuning out the message because you’ve heard it so often. But the fact is, now more than ever, we need to be agile.

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While agility in business relies on collective efforts as an organization, agility still needs to begin with each individual. The problem is, not everyone is ready for change. Some may be as ready as the speed of change, while others need time to settle into it. Whichever category you fall into, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be more agile.

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Let’s first understand agility. To some extent, agility involves the use of technology to support agile working. However, true agility must begin within the individual. For example, we can apply agile methods but that alone doesn’t help us if we don’t instill a proper mindset and practise it daily.

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Another key requirement is to be proactive rather than reactive. We may react quickly to certain situations but that doesn’t make us agile. To truly be agile, we need to become more proactive in our work and lives to prepare for change. Inner agility is no longer a skill set that’s just good to have, it is crucial if we want to survive and thrive in our careers. 

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We understand its importance but where do we begin developing our agility? As it begins within us, here are some starting points to strengthen your agility.

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Develop the right mindset

Mindset comes in many forms but the key thing to remember is that with inner agility, you will experience mistakes and failure. An individual’s mindset must be ready to face all kinds of adversity. Learn from it, and use this lesson to get back up. 

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Be aware of yourself, others and the situation

Agility also begins with understanding your current state and emotions and those of others. This helps you react appropriately to sudden situations and to prepare for what may come in the future.

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Establish both short-term goals for quick wins and long-term goals for sustainability

Agility is all about test and trial — failing fast to learn faster. Keep in mind that just because you’ve found something that works for you now, keeping it up might not be sustainable in the future.

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Update your current skills and develop new ones through learning

Our world changes constantly, and what we know today may no longer be relevant in the future. Our skills can become obsolete no matter how skilled we are today.

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Keep practicing

Agility isn’t something we master but something we constantly work on. This is because change can happen anytime and can keep shifting in terms of situation or scale. We cannot always prepare for change but if we practice agility, we can overcome any challenge thrown at us.

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The good news is that all these skills can be developed starting today without breaking your bank. First, begin with setting your learning goals. What do you want to achieve? What skills do you need to update or learn to stay relevant? These are just some questions to think about.

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Second, set a budget for how much you’re willing to spend on learning. No matter what you decide, there are many learning sources available that can help you achieve your goals. You don’t need to go above and beyond when it comes to learning; all it takes is your mindset to push through. Finally, commit and practice your learning in daily situations.

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Adversity and change are part of our world. We may face challenges on different scales but at the end of the day, it is how we rise with speed from these challenges that will define our success today and in the future.


Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC – Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@seasiacenter.com. Explore and experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com