Skills for Success defines Adaptability as the ability to achieve or adjust goals and behaviours when expected or unexpected change occurs. Adaptability is shown by planning, staying focused, persisting, and overcoming setbacks.

Discover the language in Adaptability

Adaptability requires communicating with others in a way that conveys responsibility and flexibility in response to changing circumstances. It involves listening, speaking, reading and writing, often in combination; for example:

  • Listening while conveying openness and willingness to consider alternative points of view and changing needs and priorities.
  • Asking questions to understand changing circumstances, evolving responsibilities, or new concepts.
  • Sharing intentions, timelines and schedules to communicate an understanding of shifting responsibilities.
  • Adjusting vocabulary, tone, and demeanour to respond effectively to different people and situations.
  • Responding to requests from others efficiently and with flexibility; giving reasons when refusing requests, and offering alternatives.
  • Negotiating priorities or the sequencing of tasks in a cooperative manner, considering the diverse needs presented by situations or individuals.
  • Finding and exploring resources and supports to adapt to instability or change.

Explore work-related examples at each CLB stage

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) describe communicative ability in English as a Second Language (ESL). The CLB organize 12 benchmarks into three stages of ability: Stage I (Basic), Stage II (Intermediate) and Stage III (Advanced).

Learners may already possess Adaptability skills but lack the English language to demonstrate them. For this reason, there is no direct correspondence between Adaptability and CLB levels.

The examples below show the language involved in demonstrating Adaptability.