You would like to contribute to discussions at your company but can never get yourself to jump into the fray. you know you need to network , but you feel uneasy starting conversations with strangers . You need to start emphasizing your professional accomplishments at work to be noticed , but you feel deeply uncomfortable about tooting your own horn . This list of uncomfortable but necessary tasks that all of us face at work could go on and on . Ant with the constant change in our lives and in our organisations, it’s only going to get more challenging. We’re crossing national cultures and organizational cultures on a regular basis ; we are moving from one functional culture to another and also changing professional cultures often.
We’re changing roles-from editor to agent, from product developer to CEO, from nurse to nurse manager – and we’re even switching careers. And with each of these changes comes a a ”stretch” in our roles and responsibilities that force us out of our comfort zones and challenges our skills and personalities.
The problem , of course, is that acting outside our comfort zones can be incredibly challenging as the previous section of the book just illustrated. People pleasers often dread delivering bad news , sometimes avoiding the task, altogether because of how uncomfortable it feels. Introverts can struggle having to schmooze work a room or pitch their products . And it can be terrifying for anyone with a fear of speaking in public to step up to the platform to deliver a speech . But this is the reality at work for most of us. As we grow and learn and advance in our jobs and in our careers , we’re constantly faced with situations outside our comfort zones where we need to adapt and adjust our behavioural styles . And without the ability -and-courage-to step outside our comfort zones and learn to stretch and flex our behaviour, it’s very difficult to be successful.
The goal of this next section to give you the insight and perspective that you need to take the leap and act outside your own personal comfort zone, in whatever type of situation you face. And that initial leap does not have to be a big one. It fact , it probably shouldn’t be . If you are afraid of giving a speech in front of thousands of people, start by giving a speech to a few friends , or to a small group of people from your unit or department , or sign up for a public speaking organisation like Toastmasters.
Or if you are terrified of networking , don’t begin with the most challenging environment imaginable . Start in the break room with colleagues , or perhaps at an alumni event where you know a few people.
I will complete in article 3 soon .
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