Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
The title for this article is also the new tag line for my company. It came out of an “ah ha” moment that a lot of managers have.
In management, you are always moving, stretching, balancing and rebalancing – it is pretty rare that anyone feels totally comfortable because nothing stays still for very long.
3 reasons you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable
- Change is constant. And change makes everyone of us more or less uncomfortable.I’m coaching a new VP who confided in me, “This is a really hard job! I feel like I never have things under control.” In her pre-management role, she was able to get things set up and let them operate on cruise control. That just doesn’t happen in management. Just when you think you have all the right people on your team, someone decides to leave. Just when you start to feel your groove, some new conflict creeps in. Sorry if that is discomforting, but it is true. And the truth is a little discomfort is OK. You can even use it like fuel to drive you and your team, many do.
- You have to change to grow. Not sure how or why? I promise you, the people around you are going to have some ideas. Asking for feedback can make you uncomfortable. So can hiding from feedback. And so can hearing feedback. Yuck!So you are going to be a little uncomfortable no matter what. You may as well be bold. Ask for the information you need, and grow from the experience. Most managers don’t get enough feedback. You can be different. You can learn to get comfortable with the discomforts around feedback.
- Your team will have to change to grow. It is your job to push your team to work at the edge of their comfort zone too. That’s the ticket to keeping them growing.Say you have someone who is doing ok but not great. Get them talking to different clients, taking on different types of work, and doing things that scare them just a little. Helping someone else trust that they will survive a little discomfort is a big part of being a coach, and a manager.
New things will always and should always feel uncomfortable. Feeling the stretch reminds you that you are working at your edge. It is a sign that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. And you can get comfortable with the concept of being uncomfortable – make sense?
Practice getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone every day for a week. Before the end of every work day do one thing that scares you a little:
- ask for more from someone on your team
- give 10 minutes of feedback to the person you haven’t wanted to deal with
- pull the trigger on a decision that’s been hanging around.
By the end of one week you will have experience surviving 5 uncomfortable experiences.
Let me know how it goes. Or ask for help if you get stuck.
Category: All, Energy at work, Good Management Habits, Manage your Energy, Manage your People, Managing high performers, Team building, The Leader's Toolkit
Tags: Courage, high performing teams, Management 101, Trust, work culture