Having Flexibility & Adaptability at Work
In this week's episode, Tazmin and Sarah talk about two of the most arguably important soft skills, flexibility and adaptability.
About 'The SEO Mindset' Podcast
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The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that will give you actionable tips, guidance and advice to help you not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.
Each week we will cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics too including professional and personal development.
Your hosts are Life Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years of experience working in the industry.
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Hello, and thank you for joining us for another episode of the SEO Mindset. This week, me and the absolutely brilliant Tazmin will be chatting about flexibility and adaptability. So before we get into this this week's episode, I just wanna say a little reminder that you can support us. So if you enjoy listening to us, you think what we're doing is good, then head on over to our buy me a coffee page. So there is a link in our show notes, but here you can give us a one-off donation to support us and we'd be very appreciative of that. And also you can support by helping us spread the word, right? So the more people we get listening to the podcast, the bigger and the better the guests that we get on, right? So yeah, tell, tell everyone, tell your work, colleagues, friends, family, your pets. Please help spread the word for us. So yeah, get them to go and search for the SEO mindset on Google or wherever they listen to their podcasts, or the next time that you are listening to an episode you could share that, find the link and share that with them. So, yeah, just help us spread the word, pretty please. Hi Tazmin.Tazmin (:
Hello. How are you? I can say Happy New Year because this is our first episode together of 2023, and of season four. That's exciting.Tazmin (:
Really exciting. Really exciting. Yeah. Yep. How was your Christmas and New Year?Sarah (:
Yes, it was, it was good. It was good fun. Really good fun. Recharge. The batteries did get a bit poorly, but I think everyone did because I think that's what happens when you bought with your body. When you like, slow down and chill out your body then decides to get poorly. But yeah. How about you? Absolutely.Tazmin (:
Yeah, poorly as well for, for quite a long period of time. But I have, I have some news for you, Sarah. Oh. I have some exciting news to share with you. So, you know, my son got married in the summer. Yes. He's, he and his wife are expecting a baby. Oh. So I'm gonna be granny. Oh,Sarah (:
Thank you. Thank you. So, you know, when you were saying about spreading the word, this kid's gonna go to school and say to the other kids, what do you mean your grandmother doesn't have a podcast?
Well, it'd be like my grandma's cooler than your grandma. Cuz my grandma does a podcast.Tazmin (:
And rightly so. Right. Rightly so. So, but yeah, anyway,Tazmin (:
It's pretty exciting.Sarah (:
Congratulations. Thank you. That's really, thank you. Awesome. Awesome news. So yeah, massive, massive smile on my face. But yeah. Right, so we said, we said, I said that we'd be talking about flexibility and adaptability. Great. As these are arguably one of the most important soft skills that we can have. And they often get put together as they're quite similar, but there is a difference. Would you like me to give you a little rundown of how they're different?Tazmin (:
Please? I'm intriguedSarah (:
Actually. So, adaptability. So here you're open to comfort or change your own ideas and preconceptions and adapt to how other people work and how they cope with differences in conditions and environment. So being adaptable helps you to react positively to changes in your environment without it causing too much disruption to you. So that's adaptability. Flexibility is the willingness to meet others halfway and accommodate others' needs and not be too hung up on your own objectives and your own stuff and your own things. So being flexible gives you the ability to quickly adjust to any changes in your personal or work life, again, without it creating like stress, drama, trauma sort of thing. So, yeah. Any, any thoughts on, on, on those two things?Tazmin (:
So I suppose because I don't you know, I'm self-employed, I would look at those two and say, for me, adaptability would be, for example, if there was a new piece of software that would help with course creation. It would be the ability to be open-minded enough to say, let me look at that new piece of software or that new way of doing things and see how that could work for me. Yes. And yeah, and and flexibility would be, so you might, you might have a business plan and think, I'm gonna do this, this, and this, but his circumstances change the ability to flex with those changes. Yes, yes. Would you saySarah (:
That's right? Yes, because, and like if you are if you work for yourself or if you work for a business, there are gonna be times where you need to be adaptable and flexible and the examples that you've just given a hundred percent. But there's always, like, for example, if you running a project or a campaign and things don't go to plan you need to be adaptable and flexible. If you're working with external people, so obviously if you are an employee, you'll, you'll have team members that you have to work with. But for you and being self-employed, there might be times where you are working with external people, right? Mm-Hmm.
So yeah, so they're pretty, pretty like important skills to have because yeah, and it's a biggie for seo, right? Because if, if you think about algorithms and Google, do you know what I mean? Like, things are constantly changing. And also there might be an instance where you are working on a campaign or project and the, the results that you were hoping for, they didn't come true. Or there might be an instance where there's a, a plummeting website traffic. Okay. so having the adaptability and flexibility allows you to handle these kind of challenges and obstacles in a more positive way. And it's not just seo, right? It's in any, any job, any way that you working. You're gonna, you're gonna find these, these things, aren't you?Tazmin (:
Yeah. And I would say also so many SEOs are freelancers, and now with the way people work these days, you're working across different time zones. So yeah, recently I was working with a company in Dubai, and the only time they could could have that particular piece of training was our six o'clock in the morning. So it meant getting up at five, making sure everything was, was ready. But it's, it's what you have to do for success.Sarah (:
Yes. Yes. And that's where yeah, if you happen to accommodate on that sort of scale, that's where like looking after yourself and making sure, okay, yeah. Like I'm starting this early, maybe I finish earlier, have time, have a nap. Yeah.
Oh, I definitely had a nap, but the minute it was over
Well, yes, I don't, I don't blame you. Okay, so that's so that's what adaptability and flexibility are in a nutshell. So both very important. So I just wanna continue with some of some of the benefits and please do like, chime in Tazmin or if you've got any questions and stuff. But yeah. So benefits of being more flexible and more adaptable is you'll actually be happier and more satisfied not only in your work life, but in your personal life as well, because you'll be able to take change in your stride. So lots of people are fearful of change, but if you can have a mindset or you can be more flexible in it and be adaptable, then obviously that's gonna help you, isn't it? It's also like sticking with the point about change. It's not only about being happier and more satisfied, but you are, you can be versatile, resilient, and responsive, right? So being flexible with your plans, like it's about having a plan B, I suppose, isn't it? And or being adaptable is like, okay, this was the plan, but we, we can adapt it and we can change it to be this. Yeah.Tazmin (:
No, no. GetSarah (:
It. I think we've already, like we touched on it before, but you can also adapt to unexpected demands in the workplace. So if there's a sudden surge in work, so for example, like you get an influx of people to coach
Yeah. Sure. We can have the training at six in the morning
Exactly. you can any challenges that come your way, you can challenge them and confront, confront them confidently. You can, if you are in a manager or a leader role it allows you to be a better one, basically. And it also allows you to be a better team member as well. Like, if you can be seen as someone who can take change or challenges or obstacles in your stride, if you're a team member that's, that's gonna be good, isn't it? Because you can support the team and like your employees in the business will see you in a good light. But what'll also help you with is if you are a leader or a manager, your team members are gonna trust you more, right? Yeah. So that's gonna help there. It it helps you to become better at emotional intelligence as well, and you can boost your confidence. So yeah. So those are some of the benefits. I mean, is there any other benefits that you think that I've missed out Tazmin or anything that you, you are thinking, ah,Tazmin (:
Well, that I like the confidence one, because imagine you're in a situation, you're at work or whatever, and things don't go your way. The ability to take a step back and say, okay, what do we need to do here to make this happen to problem solve, and to go in and adapt and be flexible and get to the end of that problem with a solution, like you said, it's going to boost your confidence and then the next time that happens, you've already done that once. Mm-Hmm.
And I arguably you just, you'll get better at these, at these things, right? Like whatever job you are, you are in especially in marketing and SEO and coaching, right? You've got to be prepared for things not going quite right, and you've got to be prepared. That, and being flexible and adaptable allows you to do that.Tazmin (:
Yeah. Any any other thoughts?Tazmin (:
So the only caveat I would have is boundary setting. So don't be so flexible that your own priorities are derailed.Sarah (:
Yes, yes. And I think so in part, so obviously we're gonna take a break soon. But yeah, I am we are gonna touch on, on that and about boundaries and making sure that your ethics and all of that. I mean, that's a really good caveat because yeah, it's not, it's not so much about being flexible about what you are happy with doing. Like if you've got a certain boundary and you've communicated, then that's fine. I suppose this is more about flexibility and adaptability in the sense of when things go wrong sort of thing or Yes. But yeah, it's a great, great shout and a great caveat and yeah, people should check out the episode with Joe, shouldn't they? About boundaries?Tazmin (:
We should. Yeah. That was a strong episode.Sarah (:
Great episode, right? Should we take a break then? That'd be great, right? We shall be back.(:
Hi, Sarah here from the SEO Mindset. Just a quick reminder that if you do enjoy the podcast and what me and Tazmin are doing, you can support by donating as little as five pound to us fire hour. Buy me a coffee page, just head on over to the SEO mindset.co.uk, forest donate. There will be a link to that page in this episode, show notes. And also we'd love it if you shared our podcast with others. The more listeners we get, we can continue to find awesome guests to join us for episodes and talk about important topics. So the next time you are listening to an episode and think someone would enjoy, tell them open up the episode in your app, find the share button, and you will be able to copy the link to the episode and send it to them via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, slack. There's so many ways that you can help us spread the word.(:
Hello there, it's Sarah. So the third edition of Blue Arrays in-house SEO success book is now available to buy. Now this book features insights from 29 in-house SEO experts, and you may recognize one of the co-authors. Yes, that's right. I am one of the co-authors and my chapter is all about inclusive marketing for the LGBTQ plus community. And I have to say, I am so honored because I'm in great company as the co-author lineup is amazing. It's fantastic. It's phenomenon, phenomenon. Why did I end with a word that I can't really say? Now, this book serves to help understand the struggles that in-house SEOs have but to also educate, inspire, and captivate as in-house SEO experts that have co-authored, co-authored go with that word, this book have, share their knowledge and expertise now time to share some even more exciting news. I mean, that's exciting in itself.(:
Back. We are indeed,Sarah (:
This is a really good one. I'm enjoying this, Sarah.Sarah (:
Yeah, I'm glad. I'm glad. Okay, so before the break, we talked about what being flexible and adaptable was about and the benefits mm-hmm.
Please do tell me.Sarah (:
Okay. So first one, and I love this one, say yes to more opportunities mm-hmm.
Step outside your comfort zone as well. So doing things where you are taken outta your comfort zone is gonna help you in being more flexible and adaptable at work. So challenge yourself every week or every month. Do something where you are take taken out of your comfort zone and where you don't have your security of what you know, because that's gonna help you, isn't it?Tazmin (:
Yeah, absolutely. That's where you'll grow.Sarah (:
Yeah. That's where you'll grow. Keep an open mind and encourage people to do the same. So you might be a bit stubborn or there might be certain ways of how you do stuff, right? Yeah. There's always a way that you, you do stuff because that's always the way that you've done it.Tazmin (:
Sometimes we need an open mind, like someone might suggest, so a team member, an external person, your boss, whatever, someone might suggest an alternative way of doing something or they might do something that's not the way that you are used to Now, just because it's not how you are used to doing something doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing, right? Would you agree, Tazmin?Tazmin (:
I would. And you know, different people do things in different ways, though. Some people are very logical and methodical and want to go down the list. Some people are more scatter on and although it's difficult to, to try things, to try to do things a different way, there is huge learning in that because there'll be times when you can't do things methodical. I'm speaking personally, I like a list. If I don't have a list, I'm a bit lost. But recently I've been in situations where I've had to just go in and get on with it. Yeah. And that's a skill in itself,Sarah (:
Definitely 100%. 100%. and by having an open mind as well yeah, it, it, and if you can encourage your team members, or if you are a leader or a boss or a manager, if people can see that you've got an open mind and you are not so stubborn in your, you are open to change if it makes sense. And that's only gonna foster a positive culture within that team, isn't it? Mm-Hmm.
Set goals and stick to them is in a day. That'sTazmin (:
A biggie. Yeah, that's a biggie.
Well, we're, we're right in goal setting season, aren't we atSarah (:
The moment? Well, we've done it. We've already, again, we've already done an episode, didn't we? Yeah, yeah. So yeah, check that out. That was the episode before Christmas. But we did one all about setting goal, setting goals. So the idea here is that if you set goals and targets my, like different miles, stones may change in how you get to that goal or target may change, right? But if you've got these goals in mind then if something doesn't go to plan or something isn't quite right, or you need to change something, if you know where your end goal is, you can be like, okay, how else can we get there? If that makes sense. Mm-Hmm.
I keep itSarah (:
Ask for feedback. Yeah. ITazmin (:
Love, I love feedback.Sarah (:
Yeah. So this helps with being flexible and adaptable. Because if you can ask feedback from your peers then that's gonna help you change or mm-hmm.
Absolutely. And you know, sometimes people take it very personally, take the emotion out, hear what they've said and check in. You might not agree with it, that's fine, but at least take that, take hear what they've got to say about it.Sarah (:
Exactly. Exactly. Don't give up. Okay? Mm-hmm.
Yeah. And with the don't give up. If you are finding that you are stuck break it down into the smaller steps you possibly can and then go through those steps and say, okay, I know how to do step one and step two and step three, but it's step four that I'm stuck at. And what that does is instead of you thinking, I dunno how to do this, you say to yourself, I dunno how to do step four, which is very different because it gets youSarah (:
Moving. Yeah. Yeah. So rather than it becoming a whole, like the whole project or the whole task is a blocker. Yeah. It's that specific step, right? Yeah.Tazmin (:
Yeah. Helps with o on that one.Sarah (:
That one. Yeah, you can always figure it out.Sarah (:
Yeah. So if you, if you, if you've got a glass half full rather than a glass half empty attitude, then I feel like if you're more positive, like if a challenge or an obstacle comes your way, then if you've got more of a, a positive attitude, it helps you be more flexible. Does it like, oh wow, that didn't work, let's try another way. Whereas if you are, if you are more negative, you might think mm-hmm
It's mindset. Again, go back the first two episodes we ever recorded mindset, I think we could do an episode on each one of those.Sarah (:
Definitely. You definitely could.
I was reading a book called ETH, and what he talks about is figure out what your primary aim is. So every business will have a primary aim, and that's another set of guidelines that you can delve back into saying, is this in line with the business'? Primary aim? Is this in line with my career's primary aim? Yeah. And if this isn't then, then you know, you can say no. And if it is, then you can say yes.Sarah (:
Yeah, definitely. And then other things that we can do is so really work on the relationships that you have in your team. So here, like you, it's all about fostering a positive culture, okay? Mm-Hmm.
Like Yeah. And it, that this isn't just from a manager or a leader level. Like employees should be doing this, like team members should be doing this. Like, reach out to someone, someone and be like, saw that you weren't really yourself today, is everything okay? And yeah, get, get to know your team and support them sort of thing. Yeah. because that's gonna help and empathize as well. So for example, it might be that like you're working on a project and a blocker is a team member who's finding something hard, right? And in your head you are like, well, this is really easy, I could do this. You know what I mean? Like, we sometimes have to step, step into other people's shoes or yeah, empathize. Okay. So it might not be that easy, that job mm-hmm.
And this goes back to your emotional intelligence point earlier. And it could be that normally that person would be able to achieve that task, but there's something not quite right in their own lives. Yeah. They're going through some problems. So again, the adaptability and flexibility is you may think, right, I'm gonna go to work, I'm gonna do my job, I'm gonna put my head down. But be flexible enough to notice and to be present in team meetings and be able to see what's happening rather than just tunnel vision your way through your day.Sarah (:
100%. 100%. And then the last one is about working on your own creativity, but also your team's creativity, right? Mm-Hmm.
Yeah. I, okay. Well that's brilliant. I like this one.Sarah (:
Yeah. Like, so I mean, creativity is a bit of an unsung hero, isn't it? Like yeah. It's all about finding ways that you can best arm yourself with different skills to allow you to adapt and be flexible on Yeah. On certain things. Like yeah. And decision making is another one, right? So if you can, I think another key thing of flexible and adaptable is, is having the ability to make decisions. Taking data and being like, okay, this is what we are going with and this is why sort of thing. So I think decision making, because we can be like, oh, is this the right way of doing it? Is this the wrong way of doing it? I'm not quite sure. Whereas if we've got more confidence and we can be like, yes, we're trying this, this is a new way forward. I mean, as we, as I've been talking, has it sprung up any ideas in your head of how he can be more flexible, adaptable,Tazmin (:
You know? Yes. I, I think in my current life now, having gone from a role in corporate where you are, you've got a certain allow amount of flexibility, but buying large, you know what the job is and you go in and you do it. And now, you know, freelancing, coaching myself, coaching, have, setting up a business, there's all sorts of things that I'm having to learn. And I think also with the way technology is now, way back when there were a few pieces of software that you could choose from, that decision wasn't huge. Now, for example, just making a decision on which platform do I choose to host my courses? There's so many, like, so many anything or should I do this? Should I do that? It does get, it does get overwhelming. So I think it's that balance between being flexible and adaptable, but then making a decision and knowing it doesn't have to be perfect.Sarah (:
Things can change. Yeah.Tazmin (:
Yeah. Just pick one. Yeah.Sarah (:
Yeah. So in your example, pick a software platform that works for you right now you can change it. Yeah. And the same with like picking a new solution of a way out of a problem, right. Try it because things can change with digital, right?
I think it is that open-mindedness of everyone to recognize people are different. They have different ways. And if you allow and embrace that difference and that diversity of thought, you're going to go further. And I have that challenged in me every single day because I'm very different to my daughter. We spend a lot of time together. She's very red and just goes for it. And I'm a thinker, should we do it like this? Should we do it like that? And as I've allowed myself to be influenced by her because what was it, there's a phrase that the best way to influence is to be, to allow yourself to be influenced because then, then the other person thinks, oh, I was able to influence them. And you've opened that pathway of trust and all that good stuff. So don't knock anyways anyone's way of doing things, you'll learn something from it.Sarah (:
Yes. A hundred percent. A hundred percent. Amazing. Right. Thank you. So question to you Tasman. Yes. what is the key, like yeah, what's the key thing that you've taken away from? Yeah. From us talking about flexibility and adaptability,Tazmin (:
I think maybe be more playful with it rather than thinking of it as a, oh, I've gotta do something different. Dunno how to do it. Just be a lot more freer and fluid with it. Mm-Hmm.
Yes. Fluidity is, yeah, I like that fluidity. Okay. Awesome. Right. yeah, I mean that's that. I think, I think we've covered that topic, haven't we?Tazmin (:
We certainly have. Thank you so much, Sarah.Sarah (:
I mean my pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for joining in and yeah, your, your golden nuggets as well of knowledge, information is always helpful, experience awesome. Right? So that's a wrap guys, isn't it? So thank you again for tuning in to another episode of the, the SEO Mindset. Very much appreciate you listening in. A reminder, so we said this at the beginning of the podcast, but there's many ways that you can support us. You can head to our buy me a coffee page link in the show notes, and there you can give us a one-off donation. So if you like what we are doing that would be very appreciative. Alternatively help us spread the word, right? Tell people about the podcast. So yeah, get them work colleagues who you think would fi would find this helpful. Family members, neighbors, pets, anyone the postman or post lady post person. Wasn't quite sure what the right term was to say there.
We do. I'm an SEO who prioritizes mindset and personal growth and not just for rankings, improving visibility and algorithms.Sarah (:
Oh, wonderful, wonderful. I felt that Pledge hand onTazmin (:
Take care everyone.(:
Hello there. It's Sarah. So the third edition of Blue Arrays in-house SEO success book is now available to buy. Now this book features insights from 29 in-house SEO experts, and you may recognize one of the co-authors. Yes, that's right. I am one of the co-authors and my chapter is all about inclusive marketing for the lgbtq plus community. And I have to say I am so honored because I'm in great company as the co-author lineup is amazing. It's fantastic. It's phenomenon, phenomenon. Why did I end with a word that I can't really say? Now, this book serves to help understand the struggles that in-house SEOs have but to also educate, inspire, and captivate as in-house s e o experts that have co-authored, co-authored go with that word, this book have share their knowledge and expertise now time to share some even more exciting news.(:
I mean, that's exciting in itself.
Hi, Sarah here from the SEO Mindset. Just a quick reminder that if you do enjoy the podcast and what me and Tazmin are doing, you can support by donating as little as five pound to us Fire Hour. Buy me a coffee page, just head on over to the seo mindset.co.uk, forest dash donate. There will be a link to that page in this episode, show notes. And also we'd love it if you shared our podcast with others. The more listeners we get, we can continue to find awesome guests to join us for e episodes and talk about important topics. So the next time you are listening to an episode and think someone would enjoy, tell them open up the episode in your app, find the share button, and you will be able to copy the link to the episode and send it to them via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, slack. There's so many ways that you can help us spread the word.