CliftonStrengths®: Adaptability® – Going with the flow

by | Nov 18, 2018 | Strengths

Gallup® defines Adaptability® as “prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.”

Adaptability® is about being urgent, current, present, responsive, in touch, and calm. It could be a protector from chaos. You react immediately and can be a positive force for change.

Going with the flow

Yes, maybe it’s a cliche, and when it comes to this theme, it’s one of your strengths. When you’re taking a spur-of-the-moment action, you thrive. And that’s key; you like to have short-term, in-the-moment goals.

For me rollerblading and sports symbolize what this theme is all about. You are present, in the moment, quickly adjusting to what’s coming at you with little to no hesitation, and you’re absolutely not in your head.

You’re fully alive and present, taking in everything around you.

I’m in the zone when I’m blading, especially on the beach. I experience inner freedom, joy, and flow when I’m gliding along the ocean, with no other sounds than the wind. Ah, it’s just the ultimate feeling of peace; I feel so expansive yet alert and not missing anything around me. Being in nature is another one.

You thrive on change

You don’t do well in a rigid structure as you thrive on change and easily adjust.

While you may be able to manage long-term projects due to your other themes, it doesn’t nurture your Adaptability® theme. You thrive on constant changes, a loose framework, and short-term targets.

You’re calm when there’s chaos around you

You react and then quickly change course. It’s a very fluid theme, and for me, who has moved a lot and been in environments with constant change, one that I’ve tapped into a lot.

I was a Scout growing up and the motto of “always be prepared/ready” was one I often found myself quoting. It’s been part of my life motto and one I credit to the Adaptability® theme.

To outsiders, your constant need for variety, and talent, to easily change course may occur as you not sticking to things. In a way, you’re like a butterfly going from one flower to the next or a squirrel going from nut to nut, abandoning what you were focusing on. I’ve learned to trust the nudge, change course and take action (hello Activator®).

Do I have abandoned projects? Yep, in my personal life, mostly. And that’s OK with me. It may call me another day, so if it’s important, it gets done.

You’re calm in the midst of chaos

Adaptability® is my #7 theme. I personally thrive on change, and even when there’s chaos around me, it’s the theme that helps me adjust quickly and move forward while focusing on “right now.” My Strategic® (#1) and Futuristic® (#4) themes influence this theme in addition to Activator® (#5).

And that’s the kicker, while there’s power in separating your strengths out so that you can strategically focus on different aspects of yourself to create different results, they still all influence each other.

So, with my talent blend, I focus on the now and am also tapped into the future. I am not drawn to revisit the past other than to clear it or learn from it.


Do you have Adaptability® as one of your dominant talents? What creates a flow for you? When are you in the zone? Please comment below; I’d love to know.

Are you curious about what your talents might be? CLICK HERE for more information about the CliftonStrengths® Assessment or HERE for the BP10™ Assessment.

Lastly, visit Gallup’s YouTube channel for more information on the CliftonStrengths® theme of Adaptability® HERE.

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