This was so clearly demonstrated to me on a recent trip abroad when I dined with a leadership team prior to running a one-day workshop for them. The message they had received from the boss was that the major transformation he was seeking would take them way out of their comfort zones. While at one level they found the sound of the future challenge stimulating, at another it was causing them great trepidation.
In the workshop the next day I gave them insights on the effective leadership of change, introduced them to the “ABC of success” model and emphasised that to get people fully committed to significant change, and to ensure that improvements were sustainable and ongoing, it was essential that they understood how to make that change a comfortable process.
I explained that instinctively successful people adjust their comfort zone as they progress up from one level of the ladder to another and that being in your comfort zone enables you to perform at your best. Our instinct, if circumstances take us out of our comfort zone, is to get back into it as fast as possible – as I was able to demonstrate to their amazement and amusement.
This message was received with great relief and real interest in learning how to adjust their self-image, and with it their comfort zones, so that they could transform their own performance and that of their organisation in the most comfortable and effective way.
Alarm bells ring when I hear people talking about the need to get out of their comfort zone. They seldom mean that they are enthusiastic about making changes in their life of business. Too often they are feeling daunted by what may well be someone else’s challenge that has been imposed upon them.
Listen to those around you and, if your current parenting or leadership style seems to involve taking people out of their comfort zone, then my recommendation is that you study the psychology behind instinctively successful people and discover how ongoing growth, or change, can be as “easy as ABC”.