How Comfortable is Your Comfort Zone?
Updated: Apr 12, 2020
“The key to success is to fully understand how to apply your greatest talents and strengths in your everyday life.” -- Gallup
That includes what life has become today.
The success is for every inch of life. Even in a pandemic and isolation. Knowing and understanding our talents and strengths is more important than ever. The application piece is accelerated on account of the need to apply talents and strengths to a host of new ways of doing work, of doing life.
When I think of doing new or embracing change, I gravitate to what Gallup calls the “Strengths Zone®.” Taking cues and checking to see where I need adjustments. I love being in the zone! In light of the drastic changes in our world, the Strength Zone® points look a bit different. Yet, they are as useful as ever.
Before we look at the Strengths Zone®, I’d like to share an insight, I experienced in the middle of sharing in a workshop months ago. It happened when I put up a slide about, “People who focus on using their strengths are three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life and are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs.” I then moved into the Strengths Zone® slide.
The thought I had was…”why?” Sure, I knew countless reasons, why people experience a more excellent life and why they are more engaged, but for some reason, I wanted to put my finger on one word to sum up why individuals were in the zone. One describing, why Strengths-based Development for individuals, teams, and their organizations paved the pathway to success.
My mind raced; I thought of my life. I thought of client’s lives. I thought of family and friends I shared strengths with. I looked around the room, at those in attendance, asking myself, “what is it; they most want as a result of being here?” Bingo, the insight…it was COMFORT! The reason people had a better quality of life and were more engaged at work was they were comfortable. Comfortable with who they are and who they are becoming. Comfortable with what they innately have to use to do their best work. Work they love. I told myself, hold this thought; I finished the presentation.
I really loved the word comfort; associating it with talents and strengths, felt so completely right.
I finally understood why, whenever I’d hear people talk about getting out of their comfort zone, I opposed the thought. Not because I wasn’t willing to work hard; because I felt that being comfortable was a key to move forward with confidence. I’ve never been a fan of telling clients to get out of their comfort zone. But, sharing taking risks where talents are able to back them up, always. Where our greatest talents are, is where we can always find the pure gold. Gold to take risks with and invest, absolutely!
Comfort zones padded with talents and strengths, move you into the Strengths Zone® daily.
Given a situation, we can know what talents to apply. In fact the more we understand and know our talents and strengths, the more we are apt to seek out new unique opportunities. We are considerably more comfortable with risks; failure eludes us as we experience more and more successes.
People working in the Strengths Zone®, are comfortable and so they…
· Look forward to going to work – In light of so many now working from home, knowing how to apply talents and strengths to what exactly “going to work” means for today, is a game changer. We can better look forward to the unfolding of the day, though we may not know what or who is around the corner after lunch. Talents provide wisdom to face new and unexpected occurrences with looking forward to what work entails.
· Have more positive than negative interactions with coworkers – Talents and strengths help make our words count, adding greater value to coworker, family members, and those we’re in isolation with. Being online or video chatting, rather than being at the office, makes interactions even more important. Talents guide us to positive expression of emotions to be trusted deeper, offer valuable support, and be genuinely sincere. Coworkers and who we live with receive the best of us. Negativity will always try to creep in. Making the choice to be part of the solution is a strengths mindset. Strengths and talent never run out or get tired of being positive. We may, but we can choose to use what we have to make the best of a situation or interaction.
· Treat customers better – Customers need to know we care and are concerned for them, not just as someone who is a part of a company we deal with. Everyone’s life has been radically changed. Use this time to see people for who they are in a more personal light. Maybe you’ve had a glimpse of your client’s dog or two year old son running through a chat? We are seeing what we’ve known all along. Those we do business with are like us. “It’s not personal, it’s business,” just doesn’t seem right any more. Everything has come close to home, as we are forced to be at home. We’ve seen talented individuals in desperate times. We will count it a privilege to partner.
· Tell their friends they work for a great company – Great companies know the importance of trusting employees and supporting them. When employees experience support, no matter what they face, they know there are people they can turn to. They know they will be coached accordingly to create what the new normal looks like for their role. Once a great company; today an extraordinary one! Just imagine what they’ll say to their friends now.
· Achieve more on a daily basis – This more that is achieved, in many cases might be a totally different set of priorities, responsibilities, and perhaps a bit an upside down way of doing business. Tapping strengths to create this more, regain focus, and revolutionize the way things are done… is possible. Especially when you choose to jump into your comfort zone padded with talents to carry you through the unknown. Both feet, smack dab landing on strengths coming in like white tipped waves for you to ride safely to shore. That’s the risk I’m referring to; that’s the outcome of applying your best in difficult times!
· Have more positive, creative, and innovative moments – A tremendous opportunity, not only to do more, but for the more accomplished to be our best work ever. Joined with outstanding collaboration, even if it is remote, the results of using our strengths to scrutinize how we once did our job, but now need to do it in a different way, is no longer a challenge. Those in the strengths zone have got this one! This is when they are able to be their most positive, create, innovative self. And it seems making a better way is nearly effortless.
For some reason we believe that if something is of value and important, if we are going to meet or do anything great…it has to been extremely hard, for the most part grueling painful, and leave us totally exhausted. This is not what those in those in the Strengths Zone® experience.
Knowing our talents and strengths and how to apply them is vital for so many more reasons than I’ve mentioned. Learning to be comfortable as we move forward will be magnetic, drawing others to us for support and for their own comfort.
If you have not yet begun to learn, understand, and apply your greatest talents, I’d like to invite you to experience the beginning of this transforming journey of Strengths-based Development. If you’d like to learn more about creating a comfort zone for you to be more confident as you move forward as a leader, I’d like to help.
Use the red button to connect with me to talk about what opportunities are available for you, your team, or your organization.