Word Of the Week #27: Flexible

April 21, 2009 by  

Flexible: not rigid or obstinate; adaptable to new situations.

How can your flexibility at work or home benefit yourself and those around you?


In business you can’t predict every possible thing that can happen. When your job revolves around people, the most important thing to remember is that things change. And as Forrest Gump said, “Stuff Happens.”

The people you work with may vary from shift to shift. Your regular customer, guest or member who has been coming in for years and always orders the same dish or drink, may suddenly want a different item. Being flexible and not rigid allows you to deal with the unexpected much more easily.

This week focus on being adaptable and flexible. If and when an unexpected event happens, be able to work around it by not being obstinate or stuck in “the old way of doing things.” See how it makes you feel, comfortable or uncomfortable. If uncomfortable, what would make it more comfortable for you?

Reader Responses

“If you will recall back when Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida, in the 1990’s, I noticed that the trees that were still standing were the Banyan trees. They are strong, but also a very flexible tree. When they were faced with hurricane force winds, they did not break, simply because they moved about with the wind and were deep rooted, so they were still standing after the hurricane.  However, the Royal Palm Trees were completely decapitated. Prior to the hurricane, they stood tall and were sort of pampas looking, hence how they got their name Royal Palms. When the storm hit, the tops of the trees were snapped off from the mid-trunk of the tree, leaving only a stub with no palm fronds left. From this I learned a very valuable lesson in life. “Better Bend Than Break.” Yes, flexibility is one of the keys to survival and dealing with whatever comes at us.” — Don Vance

“Amen to flexibility! Hello Susan, I go so far as to call flexibility a strength. Even though some hardliners interpret flexibility as wimpy and undecided, I believe in being flexible and always on the high side. That’s where the member/customer stands.” — Kurt Bishofberger