Coschem virtual event addresses adaptability in the workplace

The Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Coschem continues to host virtual sessions. On 26 July, members and non-members alike attended a lunchtime motivational session on Teams presented by Elmarie Pretorius.

Pretorius is a former corporate CEO turned successful entrepreneur and business owner of The Mindspa Institute. In her presentation entitled Adaptability: Your Most Essential Workplace Skill, she focused on how important it is for organisations to adapt to change and how this has been called ‘the new competitive advantage’.

Elmarie Pretorius is an international speaker, trainer, business coach, author, business strategist, motivator and leadership guru with a special interest in empowering businesswomen

“Because it means your teams can be responsive, agile, fit for change and adapt quickly to changing circumstances,” Pretorius explained.

The last couple of years have brought about a myriad changes in our personal and work lives. We are faced with the ongoing effect of the pandemic, retrenchments, loadshedding, petrol price increases and a general sense of unease and uncertainty. She explained how this amount of change and uncertainly can often take an emotional toll on employees and can leave them stressed, tired and demotivated. It is therefore more important than ever to equip our teams with adaptability skills.

Quoting Jeff Boss of Forbes, Pretorius added that “the need for adaptability has never been greater than it is now. The ability for people, teams and organisations to adapt to changes in their environments, stay relevant and avoid obsolescence is the defining characteristics between success and failure, growth and stagnation, business and bankruptcy.”

A deeper understanding of change

It is important to remember that any change, even change that brings about a positive future, is painful. Change is about pain, more pain and then only pleasure, meaning it is possible to be excited about the new future whilst still feeling uncertainty, fear and stress. 

“Having an adaptability mindset can reduce anxiety and diminish your fear about the future, allowing you to adjust your attitude and accept that change is to be expected, accepted and even welcomed. Change is then seen as an opportunity for growth and learning, rather than an obstacle to be avoided,” Pretorius commented.

She also referenced a LinkedIn course by strategy consultant and executive coach, Dorie Clark on how to be an adaptable employee during change and uncertainty. Pretorius explained that Clark says being adaptable allows you to take control and chart your own course, instead of just letting things happen. 

“This increased sense of control helps us to conquer our uncertainty about the future and enables us to have hope.  Hope in turns energises us to overcome the barriers and keep us motivated and on course to learn, grow and be successful and happy,” she added.

Visit the Coschem website for more information on the society’s upcoming events.

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