Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pushing Boundaries - Which Zone Are You In?

I used to be a camp counselor.  At camp we talked about the "3 Zones" you could be in at any time: Comfort, Learning and Panic.  At camp we tried to avoid the Panic Zone, rescuing a kid from the top of a rock wall  is no fun for anyone. 

It is easy for us in our work and our personal lives to stagnate in our Comfort Zone.  Perform the same tasks the same way day after day.  Do the same dinner and a movie each Friday.  This is easy to do, but nothing gets better.

From a CI point of view we need to get beyond our Comfort Zone, and into the Learning Zone at least daily.  If it doesn't make you a bit nervous or uncertain you probably aren't truly out of your comfort zone. 

Currently I am having to delegate more work to my subordinates, and I  worry if the tasks will be performed correctly.  However this is an improvement within my group as it frees my time for larger more meaningful projects. 
Outside of work this blog and my new twitter account @P_R_McC are definitely "Learning Zone" activities for me.  I've avoided the Panic Zone, but sharing my thoughts in a public forum has yanked me from my Comfort Zone.  Look forward to sharing more with you as the journey continues.


  1. As you note, learning is all about leaving our comfort zones. Congrats on embracing something new!

  2. Couldn't agree more with your post. Especially in the corporate world, people get comfortable. However, in order to succeed to the next level, you have to be willing to push yourself and LEARN.

  3. Interesting perspective Patrick. I never heard about the 3 zones before, but I definitely agree that you should always be learning, whether it applies to your corporation as a whole, or the job you perform daily.

  4. Glad you like it Kris. It can be frustrating running into the "comfort zone" type of people. Makes it difficult to improve if your never learning new tricks. I'm trying to start a training metric to ensure my team members are learning new procedures at least weekly.

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