Demonstrating your ability to adapt working styles as part of a competency based interview focus’s on your ability to recognise a need (to change) and show the interviewer flexibility in your behaviours. We have all probably experienced examples where one approach to a problem just didn’t get results, perhaps it was regarding a communication that never seemed to get across or a problem that kept on reoccurring. We also need to understand that when working with others we may find that we need to adopt or modify our approach, possibly even just for that person or team.
Personally I’ve been in situations where a team have been used to directive management I.e. They feel the need to be given low level direction for day to day tasks. My own approach is be more collaborative and empowering but you cannot change a team and their needs overnight so I have modified my own preferred style of working so that the greater good can be severed. I have then tried to engage with the team and take them on a journey of change but still recognising that not everyone will change and I have needed to continue to modify my own working style.
Of course this isn’t always about leadership and management, everyone has a diverse set of relationships and to get things done you will change the way you deal with certain people, teams or organisations. For example If the line manager is very much detailed focused and wants to be forensic amount the budget numbers you may need to do the same.
Adapting doesn’t mean wholesale change but recognising the need to modify is a key skill. Once found modification may come through testing different approaches to the problem, experimenting even or you may find it best to be direct and ask if it’s related to a teams or individuals working practices. As always teamwork and collaboration are important skills – working with others could of course help, both formally and informally. Remember listening and observing are a key skill that everyone from across the organisation will value as being important whether they do it themselves or not !