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Venture out of your comfort zone and find yourself

by Elizabeth Hobkinson October 07, 2011

​Last weekend I embarked on The Three Peaks Challenge which was a fairly mighty endeavour. 3000m of mountain to climb and 480 miles to drive (in a slow mini bus!) in 24 hours. And it rained, a lot. Ben Nevis was beautiful but freezing, Scafel Pike was steep and incredibly wet and Snowdon was, well, it was dark so I’m not sure!

It’s been quite some time since I was really taken out of my comfort zone and had to employ team work in a foreign environment. It was difficult to balance my own emotions and frustrations with the challenge whilst also trying to remain a sound team mate. But when being really stretched physically and mentally I think your true colours actually emerge and you can really learn about yourself.

For those that have been in the working world for a good number of years, it is easy to believe you are one type of person. However, how much of that personality has just been conditioned in the office? I’ve been at work for almost 7 years now and I’m pretty sure I behave in an appropriate manner but sometimes I’m perhaps not natural enough (this could be a positive or a negative!)

As an interim candidate, you need to make things happen and you need to do that in a very short amount of time. You must strike a fine balance however, between gaining people’s trust and buy-in whilst also performing difficult tasks. In order to improve on this, you need to be emotionally intelligent and what better way to improve this skill than really getting to know yourself – regularly.

I can highly recommend therefore getting involved in something that is entirely unlike anything you have done before and will really challenge you - preferably with a mixture of people you know and some you don’t. It’s amazing what you might learn about yourself which in turn, will improve your work performance. Why not give it a whirl?

Elizabeth Biggs is a consultant on The Interim Team

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