All the time we hear about how we need to get out of our comfort zones. And most of it comes from my profession. Coaches and trainers are always telling you to get out of your comfort zone, because that’s there the growth is.
It’s true. that is where the growth is.
But do you need to grow every minute of every day? Wouldn’t that just be exhausting? And what are you growing for? If you can never feel the benefit of all that growth, what’s the point?
Seriously, what’s the point?
Personally, I think the point is to have a delightful life.
Here’s a personal story to illustrate.
In April I facilitated a team day for the global supply chain heads (think regional, global, factory heads). New leader listened and realised that the team needed to address some serious fundamental issues. Admittedly it was a broken team (of which I am seeing so much of lately).
Years of behaviour that undermined trust.
My co-lead and I had to use every skill and technique in our tool boxes, and make some up on the fly to help these sincerely lovely people come back to the trust table.
It was scary, exciting, and I was outside my comfort zone so often. I grew as a leader and facilitator. So did my partner.
And the result was so satisfying. The group feeling, for the first time in years, that progress had been made, and things might actually change beyond this offsite.
From optimism to cautious “yeah, maybe something will good will happen now”.
I was exhausted, but oh so happy.
That’s my job really: getting people to see possibilities.
Now just this Monday I had another offsite, with a new co-lead. Topic was also on building trust, the foundation of the Lencioni Model. Not because it was broken this time, but part of a wider program to help people and company thrive. To help them strengthen the foundation so they could perform better.
It was an absolute delight.
Almost all introverts, the majority had never done any training like this before.
Welcome to my zone of genius.
My co-lead and I, this is what we are fabulous at: getting even the most reluctant people to join in.
Literally two people just said “I’m not doing that”.
They did join in. Yes!
Creating learning experiences is now in my comfort zone.
Including the introverts and have them willingly engage, that’s always been in my comfort zone. I am an introvert, introverts are my people. Doing this in a big setting instead of one on one? That’s something I had to learn.
And it was really delightful. All day long I enjoyed myself.
Because all those years of learning and mastering skills has paid off. So I get to enjoy where all that growing has taken me.
And I love it.
You know what the weirdest thing is?
I can now stand in front of a large group of people, waiting for the thing to start, nothing to say just yet, and be totally fine.
No cringing. No self-consciousness. No impatience to do something and be busy.
To just stand there and wait.
So be happy in your comfort zone, when that’s what is needed. And enjoy how delightful it can be.
This is part of my Thought Piece Series, where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward. Want to connect? Click here.