Can You Lead Through Your Discomfort?

“There is no way to grow or create transformation without feelings of discomfort.”
-Lisa Marie Jenkins-

Leaders can have a major role of “What’s Not Going Well” in the workplace. They should be open to hearing that “I’ve got to do things differently as I tell you to do things differently.” Dr. Brene’ Brown stated as to hoe leaders can normalize discomfort and get the most out of their teams.

Avoiding uncomfortable issues and situations in your personal life is no different from your professional life. O.K., your professional life deals with issues of workplace and how you lead. Think of it this way, if your leadership is stalled at the moment, how does it make you feel? Most leaders hate giving their employees feedback on how they’re doing. As a result, they do this once a year in the form of employee performance reviews, or, at worst, they avoid the process entirely.

It is not going to be comfortable to hear that you need to improve in a certain area, or that you need to stop doing something or that you could do a better job if you changed. Leaders need to normalize situations by saying “I’m uncomfortable also.” In reality, for effective feedback to be real, it should be “uncomfortable”.

Seth Godin’s post on the uncomfortableness of leading where he quotes from his bestselling book on leadership, Tribes:

“It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.”

Discomfort Allows Growth
Thinking of new and different things and perspectives helps you move yourself forward. As a catalyst for growth, discomfort forces you to change, stretch, and adapt.

As a sign you are making progress, the expression, “no pain, no gain” is true, especially when you push yourself to grow, you will experience discomfort.

Discomfort Builds Confidence
This is where you become more competent in what you do. When you lack the self-confidence, your ability to process stress goes to zero and you start running away from things, instead of confronting them.
Step out of your comfort zone and push beyond yourself to grow.

Discomfort Overcomes Resistance to Change
Resistance to change is a common psychological problem for people who thrive on routine. Resisting change is often seen as a negative posture. The key to overcoming resistance to change is to reframe the way you (or members of your team) think about change.

Change is not possible without discomfort, and because of this, great leaders keep their people uncomfortable. The most successful leaders also keep themselves uncomfortable.

News Flash: Stop avoiding uncomfortable feelings and getting outside your comfort zone is required if you want to learn, grow, and evolve.

Share negative or uncomfortable feedback as it would be very helpful for growth. People typically do not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable, even in an environment where negative feedback it is expected. Valuable feedback is necessary to foster growth and transformation. Learning how to provide valuable feedback to others is just as important. When we don’t receive authentic feedback, we become checked out and begin just going through the motions. This is where process begins superseding human value, connection, and creativity.

Be aware of how your uncomfortable feedback helps both you and the person you are talking with. When leaders normalize discomfort, you invite your work culture to embrace feedback and change.

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