After yesterday’s post, I think that for the most part this series is going to be mostly around mentoring, with that championship part stuck right in the middle. In this capacity, they are different, I promise.
Alright part 2! Let’s get going on this!
It’s important to know, that I believe that we cannot grow if we are always comfortable. That’s why the second piece of mentorship (I have the red squiggly line under mentorship. Is that not a word?) is:
# 2 Know where their comfort zone is and when the opportunity presents itself, push them past it.
It’s incredibly incredibly incredibly important to do this without breaking any sort of trust. Because of the nature of your relationship, you are both in many ways vulnerable to each other and once that trust is broken, it is quite difficult to go back. I would say that it’s true in most relationships.
I think that pushing people out of their comfort zones is not only making them have hard conversations or making them get up in front of a group. Here are a few examples of how this can be different in people.
My boss Jim, who happens to be the one who championed me to this position, is an incredibly patient person. I am usually a neurotic nutcase who hates not being in control and wants to push those I am waiting on to get things done. We sit in his office several times a week and it’s rare that he doesn’t tell me to be patient. As a mentored individual, I fail here. But I think that’s why it’s so great that he has an incredible amount of patience and I have very little. Jim wants me to be patient. I am not comfortable with it, but he knows that it will make me better.
Brandt is a really smart guy. He is driven and confident and he absolutely knows it about himself. He is wise enough to be able to see that, but I feel that I usually have to bring him down to earth around things. This kind of comes out in two areas. The first is in his ego. We have a lot of moments where we can sit down and I can be honest about how cool the stuff is that he is doing and they don’t go to his head. However, I sometimes have to be an asshole to him so that his head can fit out of the door. I can do this because I know he can take it. He does the same to me and we temper each other. The other part about him is that he has a tendency to over extend himself so teaching him that it’s okay to say “No”, or putting things on the back burner is healthy.
On a side note. Telling people “No” is both extremely satisfying and a good leader will respect it. I know that personally, I don’t want a yes man (or woman, it’s 2017 for goodness sake). There are moment’s when I will tell someone what I need and that I need a yes, but if you can see problems that could arise, I want to hear about them and if you can’t do it, what do we need to do to enable you to. Get it?
Shana is pretty typical when it comes to the comfort zone. It has taken a year and a half of telling her to put herself out there and let me tell you, it has taken every day of that year and a half. Where I find that it’s still worth pushing her is that she is not, not interested or motivated, she has just had to put up walls to keep from being hurt and it can be hard to jump into the deep end at this point. They sometimes require a little pushing and pulling the rug out from under them. This goes back to the whole trust thing. I have scheduled meetings and not shown up or told people that she was coming to talk to them and then told her they were waiting for her.
Being able to push them can be rewarding to both you and the person you are working with. If you are able to do this and they rise to the occasion, you will quickly find that comfort zone expanding. They will either become confident in these scenarios or, and this may be more valuable, they will become comfortable with being uncomfortable. If that makes any sense.
If we aren’t growing then we are dying. It’s imperative to make sure that you and those you are working with are pushing to become better.