Is there a professional something scary that is part of your professional development program? You know the phrase: do something that scares you each day. That is what you and I are discussing, today.
Because, doing the same things, comfortably, each and every day keeps you comfortable. On the other hand, extending the boundaries of your professional comfort level, daily, stretches your core capabilities. In addition, this practice often leads you towards uncharted waters, where you have an opportunity to grow as a business or technical professional of worth.
Now, determining your professional something scary varies from one professional to another. However, you know you are crossing over into an area of professional discomfort when you get there.
Let’s say you decide to (finally) enroll for that professional certification course, even though your employer (still) refuses to pay for it. That is your professional scary something: your self-commitment to increasing core competencies and bringing greater value to clients.
Then again, your professional scary something opportunity presents itself when you invite someone outside of your professional discipline – or even pay grade – for coffee during break time. You both have more in common than you realize. All it takes is overcoming unconscious bias that keeps Us versus Them mindset alive and well in most organizational structures. There’s no collaboration in that tack.
Confronting your professional something scary brings you face-to-face with what holds you back from moving yourself forward.
Yet, when you and I are at professional meetings where everyone is strutting around like peacocks, showing off how smart they are, it’s disconcerting, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be that way. And the first step to breaking away from organizational status quo is to do something that scares you. Instead, take that first scary step away from status quo behavior.
Instead of remaining silent during meetings, where your insights could be essential, what happens when you speak up and make a suggestion? Playing small when your ideas are big doesn’t help colleagues or clients, at all.
You can back up what you are saying with (real) facts. So, take a risk. Chances are, the rest of your colleagues seated around the business table will thank you for your contributions. Once you move one millimeter beyond your current comfort level, you will take your next step more confidently.
All it takes is approaching each day as an opportunity to do one professional something scary. So, you move forward from what is holding you back. And, most of the time, we tend to hold ourselves back. Isn’t it time to become who you are supposed to become? I think so too.
Go ahead. Sail into uncharted waters. You won’t be alone. I’m right here with you.
Next steps towards professional innovation:
- Read these related posts on professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention.
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Babette Ten Haken serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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