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The Comfort Zone
Don't take your people out of it
Leaders are sometimes told to “get your people out of their comfort zone.” I don’t recommend it.
The “comfort zone” is where your people feel confident and competent. Getting them out of that zone of confidence and competence is like shoving them off the end of a dock when they don’t know how to swim.
Instead, focus your efforts on EXPANDING their comfort zone. Build their confidence through communication, like, “Let’s get you training to develop this new skill. I think you could be great at it.” And make sure they have coaching, or training, or a template, or a recipe, or another structure or framework to follow to maximize their chances of success. Also, make sure that you give them a heads-up about potential problems they might face and what to do if they encounter them, e.g., “If the results show X, try doing Y, and if that doesn’t work, come talk to me before going any further.”
If you strengthen their confidence and competence, their comfort zone expands. They feel they can handle bigger responsibilities in more areas. In short, they won’t have to be pushed off the end of the dock, they will take a running leap and swim strongly.