One of Aspire’s strategic goals is intentional adaptability. What does that mean for each of us as a member of the Aspire community?

You’ve heard me say before that our work is relational. And last month I spoke at length about the meaning of love in our work. Adaptability is an essential part of building relationships that are based in love, giving, and developing together. What we need from each other and what we can offer each other, changes day by day, and even hour by hour. This ebb and flow means that how well we relate will depend on how well we adapt to the moment in order to allow the elements of the relationship to permeate boundaries that may exist. When we meet the person where they are, boundaries are porous.

We let go of preconceived ideas and expectations when we adapt, and this allows us to be present for what is actually happening in the moment. Adaptability calls on us to be open and responsive to the person in front of us and to be vulnerable and open to what may emerge. By adapting, we are open to those who may need our help and offer something more relevant than what was needed yesterday.

Adaptability means that we recognize and honor our differences. To serve each other, the people we support, and their families and team members, we communicate respect and generosity with love. When people can’t rely on that respect and generosity, they learn to mask their true thoughts and feelings. That masking is a lost opportunity for both speaker and listener to connect and grow together. It’s a lost opportunity to build the relationships we need to carry out our mission.

Each moment is an opportunity to strengthen our relationships. Speak less and listen more. As a listener, hear the “music” behind the words: the emotions present. Give your full attention. Check to make sure that you understand before you respond. Ask clarifying questions.

When you speak, take a moment to consider how your words will land. Do I have strong feelings that are shaping my language? Am I using words that are inclusive and welcoming, that respect differences? Do I have biases or assumptions that are playing out in this interaction? Is this the right time and place for this conversation?

When we take the time to adapt our interactions to respond in the moment with love, we are fulfilling our role as servant leaders. We grow together.



Intentional Adaptability in Our Relationships