Adaptability, The Key To Success (And 4 Attributes to Cultivate)

Adaptability, The Key To Success (And 4 Attributes to Cultivate)

It is a fact that “People Buy People.”  No doubt, like myself, you have walked into stores which have the product you want, at a similar price and ultimately bought it from the salesperson that, from your perspective, has built the best rapport with you.  That individual, that has recognised your behavioural style and needs and adapted their approach to you, ensuring your needs have been met.

Our success, in both our life and work therefore, is dependent on the strength of the relationships that we build with others.  Whilst you may have incredible products or services, showcased by a great website, ultimately, it is the personal relationship that you have with clients and prospects that will win you the business.  Building these positive relationships is even more important when supporting clients virtually, where you are not physically situated with your client on a daily basis.  So, what are the behavioural attributes that are recognised as most important?

Over the last 3 years, I’ve been honoured and privileged to not only speak at many conferences for Assistants but also work with them, either facilitating workshops specifically for Assistants or delivering team development sessions for them and the teams they belong to in their organisations, or that they support virtually.

Ngagementworks Survey Assistant AttributesPrior to speaking at the largest conference for Assistants in the UK last year, I asked the Assistant Community, via email, Twitter and LinkedIn, one question;

“In one word, what is the top attribute required by an assistant?”

The responses were numerous, varied, from around the world and from VAs, PAs, EAs and others in the Assistant Community.  However a pattern emerged, which from a behavioural perspective was fascinating.  The responses to my question are shown below, the larger the word, the more times the word was mentioned.


The top four attributes, with almost an equal number of responses, together with their descriptions were:

FORWARD-THINKING: Favouring innovation and development; progressive.

ORGANISED: Arranged in a systematic way.

FLEXIBLE: Willing to change or try out different things

PATIENCE: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious

The significance of the colours

You will notice that I have added colours to the different words above.  The reason being is that they align themselves with the behavioural attributes of different psychological preferences that we all have, but in different orders and different degrees, that makes us unique. 

This colour model of behaviour is based on the work of a Swiss psychologist called Carl Jung, who is recognised as the Father of modern day psychology.  I have been using this model for over 15 years, to support individuals and teams become more effective throughout the world.

Below are adjectives that describe the four dominant behavioural styles.  Fiery Red is Extraverted Thinking, Sunshine Yellow is Extraverted Feeling, Earth Green is Introverted Feeling and Cool Blue is Introverted Thinking.  We have all four but to varying degrees.

Ngagementworks Four Colour Energies Positive

You should be able to put the colour cards into order of MOST like you to LEAST like you which, at a top level, will give you an understanding of your preferred behavioural style.


So, turning back to the top attributes, Forward-thinking, Organised, Flexible & Patience, I believe that it recognises and supports the fact that Assistants need to be adaptable in their behavioural style and approach to their role in order to increase their chance of success.  Some you will struggle with, others will come easily, the key is to use all four appropriately, depending on the situation.

I hope that you have found this article of interest and value and I wish you continued success in your life and business.

Yours behaviourally,

Nick Fewings


You can connect with Nick via email on Twitter via @Nick_Fewings or by visiting his website!


Nick Fewings
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