It was over twenty years ago when I did my first “Zones of Comfort” activity. Since then I have probably used that activity a thousand times and it still opens people’s eyes and gets the results that I hope to get. It has positive results from the onset, but it also has deeper implications and that is why I would like you to think about it for yourself and for your coaching.
As Christian Coaches, part of our responsibility is to believe with our clients to reach something in their life that they have not currently reached. Usually there is some form of roadblock, misunderstanding, lack of knowledge, skill or reflection that has to be addressed for our client to begin to reach into that conceivable new level of their interest.
One of the problems many people face is their comfort level. That may sound odd, but comfort can be a great inhibitor. Several years ago, I wrote an article for an education magazine and titled it “Follow the Comfort.” Here is the first paragraph in that article.
There is a line in the movie All the President’s Men where the reporter Bob Woodward is secretly meeting with a shadowy figure who tells him to “follow the money.” The concept is simple — if you want to see why things have gone the way they have, follow the money and you’ll find what or who is behind the problem. For several years I have used a similar phrase pertaining to the issues found in our schools. Instead of “follow the money” we need to “follow the comfort.” Who is so comfortable that they will fight anything that might challenge them to change even if it was better for the kids?
Far too many people stay the same because they are comfortable. You know the scenario. Someone talks about what they want to do but does not take any action or make any change. The motivation to do something new or different is just not there. Wishing for something to happen is quite a distance from making the commitment to do something and praying for it. Typically, it takes a certain amount of discomfort before someone will finally get off the proverbial couch and start to jump on the treadmill.
That is where the Zones of Comfort Protocol can help. CCNI has a link to the protocol and if you have any questions about how to use it, send me a note and I’ll give you further insights.
The bottom line is this. We need to help the people we love to move themselves out of their Comfort Zone and into what is called the Stretch Zone. Personal growth only happens in the Stretch Zone. And that is the place where everyone needs a coach. They need YOU when they are in their Stretch Zone.
As coaches we help our clients to journey out of their Comfort Zone and then navigate the waters of the Stretch Zone. We encourage, support, and help them as they sail the seas of uncertainty and challenge. We also form guards, detours, or mark out the riptides of the Danger Zone if any of our clients start moving in that direction.
Taking someone through the Zones of Comfort exercise helps to create the conditions to ask questions leading to a journey of discovery.
The Bible gives a good example of coaching someone out of their Comfort Zone and into their Stretch Zone. Joshua 1:9 (NIV) – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
About the Author:
Dr. Rich Weigel has an extensive background in leadership with over twenty years leading school districts. In addition to establishing his new business as an Executive and Leadership coach, he is an adjunct professor for Olivet Nazarene University providing instruction for Strategic Leadership at the doctorate level. He is currently in the process of designing a new course on Business Ethics for students at the master’s level. He will teach that course starting in March.
Rich has been a national trainer for Crucial Conversations, Influencer, and Professional Learning Communities. He is working to gain his CCC certification and is designing a future mastermind class for CCNI called Christian Time Management. He is serving as the President of Christian Coaches Network International for the 2020 year.