The Appropriate Learning and Work Zone



The Appropriate Learning and Work Zone

We learn very less when we are in our Comfort Zone, but when we stretch ourselves to the appropriate level, then we learn more, but if we push ourselves over the limits of discomfort, then we suffer stress and can be a great danger to your health and work flow.

While this model can help you as an individual, it can also help you when coaching others. Firstly, remember that everyone’s comfort, stretch and panic zones are different, so you can use the model to have a coaching conversation to explore the feelings and physiological responses that individual experiences in each zone. Writing them down or talking about them, using past examples, can heighten their self-awareness. Then, the conversation can focus on the future and explore how to manage and change their behavior or situation, if possible, to enable them to grow. Even if a situation feels like it’s impossible to change, their choice in how they react to it can be.

Everyone’s comfort, stretch and panic zones are different
As a leader, through observing and asking the right coaching stretch questions, you can gain an understanding of your team’s zones. Ensure that the types of challenges they receive allow them to frequently stretch and develop themselves without pushing them into their panic zone for long periods of time. This strategy will ultimately lead to a motivated and engaged team of people who can recognize and choose their own responses to allow greater learning, innovation and growth.

“if you want to feel secure
do what you already know how to do.
but if you want to grow…
go to the cutting e.g. of your competence,
which means a temporary loss of security.
so, whenever you don’t quite know
what you are doing
know
that you are growing…”

(David Viscott, 2003)

See: https://trainingindustry.com/articles/performance-management/comfort-stretch-and-dont-panic/

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