Growth Starts at the End of Your Comfort Zone

In this episode, Wendy Kane, Director of Sales Leadership Development at Ricoh America’s Corporation, explains why stepping outside your comfort zone is necessary for personal growth.

Episode Transcript


Welcome to Leadership Quick Takes from the Center for Leadership Studies. In this episode, Wendy Kane, Director of Sales Leadership Development at Ricoh Americas Corporation, explores barriers to effective transfer of training. For the Center for Leadership Studies, here’s your host, Sam Shriver.

Sam Shriver

So from your perspective, what gets in the way of training transfer?

Wendy Kane

Life and reality. What happens is the same, I’m sure, in every organization. It’s happened at every level and probably every job. I think it’s a common training challenge. We go in, we’ll put on an event and the muscle memory. If I’m rolling out a new process, if I’m showing you a new tool, if I’m asking you to think about something in a way that is different than the way that you’ve thought about it before, what gets in the way is my old patterns, my old habits, and the fact that the minute that we stopped the class, the next morning you walked in and the first rep was at your door at 8:00, and they were asking you the question, “what do I do about”, or “I’ve got this problem”, or “here’s this issue”. And where did you go? Right back to your comfort zone, right? Back to where you started. So one of the things we say a lot in all of our manager programs is growth starts at the end of your comfort zone. So we’re going to pull you out of your comfort zone as many times as we can. We’re going to ask you to try and stay there until it becomes your comfort zone, and then we’re going to pull you out a little bit further because how do I grow? I grow by stepping outside of the boundaries of what I’ve always done. So how do I add one thing? How do I take out one new element, one new behavior and incrementally grow? And so that’s always the challenge. Life gets in the way and muscle memory takes us right back to where we were, no matter how good our intentions were.


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