Easy to adapt?
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
How often do you find yourself adapting to situations that perhaps you never thought you would?
In 2005 I spent three months in Khartoum, Sudan, working as an Interim Financial Controller. While there I dressed appropriately to the context I was in – which as I remember now was roughly covered to elbows and mid-calf. On October 8th an earthquake struck in Kashmir, Pakistan and within days I was en route from Sudan. I stayed until December. The dress code was more conservative working there.
The night before I returned home I went to the UN Club with a couple of colleagues. The UN Club had a relaxed dress code. However, I still dressed as I did every day. To this day I have a very vivid memory of a woman playing pool. Her shoulders were showing – her top was stringy, like a vest top. The term ‘scantily clad’ comes to mind (and I hasten to add that is not a phrase I use lightly). I was mesmerised. I had not seen so much of another person’s body in months and it shocked me. I found it hard to divert my gaze. Mostly I wanted to cover her up.
But what was really shocking? Most of my life I’d lived in Western Europe and after only a few months of living in different cultures my ‘norm’ had changed. How quickly I had adapted to my environment.
At work we find ourselves adapting to situations that perhaps we never thought we would. Just because it has always been done a certain way does not mean it is the best way. Looking from a different perspective can help you remember who you are and what you are trying to achieve.
Working with a coach can help to change perspective. How often do you stand back and question your ‘norms’?