Leaving Comfort Zones

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Manage episode 244603989 series 2029168
By Harvard Business Review. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

How do you feel when you have to do something new or difficult? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Andy Molinsky, a professor at Brandeis International Business School and the author of Reach. They talk through what to do when you’re terrified of giving presentations, big changes at work make you uneasy about the future, or your voice quakes when you deal with conflict.

From Alison and Dan’s reading list:

HBR: If You’re Not Outside Your Comfort Zone, You Won’t Learn Anything by Andy Molinsky — “Start with small steps. Instead of jumping right into speaking at an industry event, sign up for a public speaking class. Instead of speaking up in the boardroom, in front of your most senior colleagues, start by speaking up in smaller meetings with peers to see how it feels. And while you’re at it, see if you can recruit a close friend or colleague to offer advice and encouragement in advance of a challenging situation.”

Book: Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed by Dan McGinn — “There’s a reasonable body of evidence that doing a routinized set of pre-performance activities—ritualized, superstitious, or not—really can help someone perform better.”

HBR: When Was the Last Time You Took On a New Challenge? by Karen Firestone — “Other research has shown that learning something hard can help expand our creativity. And although it seems unlikely that swimming an open water race or learning to paint would help in one’s job of writing software or managing employees, the broader benefits of pushing ourselves may be positive for colleague relationships, productivity, and task comprehension. Plus, acquiring new skills is enjoyable..”

HBR: How to Handle Stress in the Moment by Rebecca Knight — “You hear a lot of advice about how to reduce stress at work. But most of it is about what to do over the long term — take up yoga, eat a healthy diet, keep a journal, or get more sleep. But what do you do when you’re overcome with stress in the moment — at your desk, say, or in a meeting? Perhaps you’ve heard bad news from a client or were assigned yet another project. How can you regain control?”

48 episodes