In the last 10 years, I have heard a lot of bad press for the term comfort zone. Especially so when I interact with senior leadership in organizations. The common refrain I hear from them is that their people have got into comfort zones and that I need to help them get out of their comforts.
When I ask them about the team or organization’s performance and whether they have been meeting their targets, almost all reply in the affirmative. That they have been growing year-on-year and it is looking good.
Then what is the problem? I ask. Why would you want people to get out of their comfort zone? If being in one is helping you achieve your goals, then why are you obsessed with pushing people out of their comfort zone?
When I ask them to quantify or tell me in measurable terms as to the difference, they would see taking people out of their comfort zone, they start providing vague answers or try and evade the question altogether by talking about something else.
My question is, when do you think you perform to optimum levels? Is when you are comfortable, right? Then why would you want people to keep getting out of their comfort zones?
I also believe that this is taking away the attention of senior leadership from the hard facts around objectives and key results and how processes can be put in place to drive performance. It’s the expectations of growth that drive people to talk about comfort zones after all!
In an attempt to get people out of all this, leadership might be shifting their focus from systemic issues to blaming the individuals in the organization. It seems a great excuse isn’t it. There exist no clear definitions of comfort zones, no clarity of what lies beyond.
It cannot be the sole agenda for leadership, that I find every corporate meeting room devoting much attention to this idea.
Why then do we make statements like,
- Are you comfortable?
- Make your comfortable.
- Feel at home
- I want my employees to feel comfortable
- Let me know if you are facing any discomfort
It creates a ‘cognitive dissonance’ as people are constantly seeking a comfortable life, whereas the environment keeps pushing them to get out of it.
Millions of dollars are being spent on learning and development programs around the world, just so that people get out of their comfort zone. The result – is attrition, burnout, frustration, resistance, and a dip in performance.
Maybe it is time that we STOP trying to push people out of their comfort zone and leverage the idea of their comfort.
It can in fact,
- Make you feel safe
- That’s where your personal qualities stand out and you shine
- You can remain focused
- You know what works for you best
- You feel you are in control
- You are less anxious and stressed
- You are in your best state of mind
Your comfort zone is the place where
the life you truly enjoy happens!
The Comfort zone is not that bad after all!
It’s a contrarian view…
If you are looking to make the best while being in your COMFORT ZONE?
Contact me for a 1:1 session and I will show you how!