"........When Change is the Challenge."
Empowerment Systems Newsletter #2
"Fear Is Just What Happens As You Take Risks and
Test Your Limits"
A manager develops into a leader by changing her
priority from getting the work done to developing the people
she is managing. Facing this priority shift, manager Suzanne
Flores was both aware of the necessity to delegate more work
to her team members and worried about doing so.
Could she be assured that their work would meet her high
standards? How would she correct them if it didn't? How
could she risk her reputation on their work? Since she had
already developed appropriate delegation guidelines, only
her fear was holding her back.
Knowing that she was about to leave on a rock-climbing
vacation, I asked how she managed her fear when she was
taking very real risks with her body. She explained that she
had started climbing ten years earlier in order to learn
that she could "feel fear and live through it."
"Fear is just what happens as you take risks and test
your limits! You KNOW you will fall when you are practicing.
There is enough give in the rope that when you miss a move,
you will fall a little below where you were. You get back on
and may be a little frustrated. You have to figure out how
to make the next move because what you just tried didn't
Suzanne realized she needed to use the same principles
when delegating to her team. Give them work that stretched
their limits, and "put some give in the rope" by setting
very early deadlines that allowed plenty of time for
correction and further development of their work when
necessary. She recognizes her own fear as the natural result
of testing her own limits, and she feels confident that she
will survive it.
Coaching Tip: When a client is afraid to take a
necessary risk, ask about their past successful strategies
for coping with fear. Old successful strategies can be
applied to new situations.
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.
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Copyright 1999, Empowerment Systems. May be
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Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D. and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. have
helped thousands of people make significant changes in their
lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 28 of
their 39 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching,
consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton,
· Colorado · 80120
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