What is AQ? It stands for Adaptability Quotient (AQ) and is the new equivalent to EQ (Emotional Quotient)! It means that a person’s AQ is an important skill to adapting to the contemporary society. “Measuring one’s ability to adapt to rapidly-changing environments is an essential first step in dealing effectively with today’s world,” Nancy Kane, Executive Agenda.
According to Professor Leon C. Megginson, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” If there is one thing we have learned in the last two years during this pandemic, it’s that humans can adapt to new and unusual situtations that come our way. Sometimes the impetus to change is forced upon us, but we CAN do it.
Through COVID-19, employers, businesses, people with disabilities, and government entities have had to adapt to the unknowns of the pandemic. Civil rights did not disappear because of the flu. In fact people became even more aware of disability issues because of the flu. For example, many who had no known disability before the pandemic were considered “high-risk” during the pandemic; which resulted in the need to request an accommodation for their high-risk status.
Telework is an example of an accommodation utilized during the pandemic. It has been provided not only for employees with disabilities, but for employees in general to prevent the spread of illness. Employers and employees ADAPTED to the necessary changes, which resulted in more people being able to continue to work during this trying time. It also has created a more accessible workplace for everyone.
Another example of adaptation has been the implementation of alternative services for customers who may not be able to wear a protective mask into a facility because of a disability. Businesses have risen to the occasion by providing curbside services and home delivery to ensure that customers are not discriminated against because of a disability. This service has proven to be advantageous to ALL groups, not just those with disabilities.
Many of these adaptations are here to stay. And that is good for everyone, whether a person with a disability that needs an accommodation; a parent whose child’s school has been cancelled due to bad weather and the parent doesn’t have an alternate caregiver; or an employee who has a medical appointment and needs to adjust his hours for the day. These are all adaptations, modifications and accommodations that increase the productivity of our community.
Are you prepared for what awaits you in 2022? Remember that your ability to adapt to change can be the most important skill you learn!